October 29, 2014
Financial institutions are using the concept of ‘Pop-Up Branch’ in order to test new permanent locations, provide low cost transactional support and implement special event engagement. In simple terms, these branches are kind of a No-Teller branch where there is more focus on implementation of new banking technologies to enable enhanced customer experience for banking customers.
Banks that have used this branching concept include:
TD Bank is opening a new branch at the end of this week using a one-of-a-kind concept. TD Bank is opening the branch with the aim of trying out new models for staffing and technology use. The new branch will feature iPads preloaded with custom software. The role of staff members would be to assist customers in learning usage of services like mobile banking apps. The new kind of ATMs setup in the branch would allow dispense of bills and would handle commercial deposits as well.
Last year, the bank had opened a portable branch with staff including only a single financial service consultant instead of a teller. The staffer helped customers with new accounts, personal loans, credit cards and also high-value services like home loans and investments. The staffer also used iPad to demonstrate innovate online and mobile services like PNC’s Virtual Wallet. The branch also featured a Smart ATM to allow customers to cash checks, deposit multiple checks or cash and dispense $1 bills as well.
The bank had launched its new branch concept in 2013 to target micro markets which have not been suitable for its conventional larger stores. The branch features a paperless workflow and large screen ATMs. Through an internal research, Wells Fargo had realized that 80% of customer transactions don’t require employee assistance but 70% of customers still visit a branch every six months. The ATMs were loaded with special software to anticipate customer’s preferred transactions, issue debit cards instantly and provide eReceipts as well. The branch also offered wireless tablets and free wireless hotspots. The bank recently used its pop-up branches to officially launch Apple Pay services as well.
This bank combines digital technology with a strong sense of brand. It’s San Francisco based branch feels more like a contemporary store or upscale café than a bank branch. It features mobile concierges, iPads, interactive touch screens, outdoor seating and a free loaner bike. The flagship branch in San Francisco has also been named as international Store of the Year by the Retail Design Institute.
Here is a bonus example from Australia:
National Australia Bank
Last year, the bank had unveiled its Smart Store branch design having iPads, touchscreens and other self-service technologies in an interactive blended format. The branch offered a range of self-service intelligent machines. Newly designed deposit machines were used capable of accepting 50 checks or banknotes at a time. The staff members are equipped with iPads as well loaded with NAB apps to assist customers. The branch also offered a mobile demo bar as an experiment featuring popular smartphones which gave the customers a walk-through of the registration process for internet banking.