The bank branch is being transformed: the need to cut costs has, counter-intuitively perhaps, focused minds on the tactical deployment of APIs, apps and analytics, a strategy that is breathing new life into banking's oldest channel. Tellers may be less in evidence but, energised with fresh purpose, the branch is undergoing a resurgence.
With a grand total of 30 case studies, Lafferty's completely updated edition of its bestselling report on branch design looks at the latest innovations in a field newly preoccupied with customer intimacy and community.
Economic imperatives and modern consumer habits are driving branches into tighter, busier spaces such as shopping centres and small retail units on the high street: the "light branch" from Poland's mBank presents a contemporary design as does Santander's Smart Red branch. Then there are purely digital branches, such as State Bank of India's InTouch.
Others deploy stunning architecture: the transparent, curved exterior of Odeabank has provided Istanbul with a new landmark and thus made an impact in the public mind. The report also looks at the digital innovators from the purely digital (eg, Number 26) to technology firms (such as VANSO Nigeria) that are breaking new ground with banks.
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