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4 min read

Looks Awesome Vs. Works Awesome: What You Need To Know When Designing Bank or Credit Union Floor Plans

Looks Awesome Vs. Works Awesome: What You Need To Know When Designing Bank or Credit Union Floor Plans


First impressions are formed within seconds, and that’s assuming you’ve caught the eye of your consumer. Your bank or credit union’s appearance and image must instill trust. With many financial institutions to choose from, bankers need to make clients feel welcome, appreciated, secure, and comfortable earning and retaining their business. A well-designed bank or credit union floor plan can improve the banking experience for branch clients.

Evaluate Your Bank Branch or Credit Union Branch Design Concept

The layout and convenience of banking areas are more important than the color of the walls to clients. When you work in the same place every day, it becomes difficult to see the forest for the trees. Try to experience your bank the way a client does.


If you were a client, would you feel comfortable in this branch? What do you see that works well? Are there areas that need improvement? Use your answers to determine if you need to pursue a branch transformation.

Prioritizing functionality doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use attractive design elements. The decor in small-town banks often reflects the community. Photos of local landmarks, local crafts or artwork samples, and complementing color schemes make these branches feel more personal to clients.

Whether you’re building a new branch or planning to update an existing one, your number one goal is to provide what your clients want and need. That can include incorporating things to allow your employees to work more efficiently, increasing your clients’ approval of your branch.

Pretty Can Be Practical

When a client walks into your branch, they’ll notice several things. The overall aesthetic appeal is important, but convenience, built into the bank or credit union design, is often more significant. If your clients have to wait their turn in awkward lines, don’t have privacy while they conduct their transactions, or can’t conveniently access necessary forms or technology, they don't care how pretty your branch looks.

Branches wishing to provide their clients with an excellent experience should consider designing their floor plans. Consider things that are important to your clients. 

They want to:

  • Know which area of the bank to visit to satisfy their needs without having to ask
  • Experience a smooth clients traffic flow from the door to their desired station or office
  • Receive efficient, friendly service from bank personnel
  • Have privacy while conducting their business
  • Be able to find and use technology features easily
  • Use a conveniently located ATM
  • Have easily-accessible drive-through teller options

You can meet these functional needs while still providing a stylish atmosphere that reflects your brand.

Transform Your Branch


Transformation can mean different things; adding new services or technologies to create a foundation for a better experience, updating small but strategic pieces like furniture and other design elements for a refreshed look, or it could be as extreme as changing your branch network strategy to deliver a better experience to all of your clients where they live, work, and play. Your clients will appreciate your changes to build on your relationship with them. Employees also benefit from adopting a modern bank or credit union design concept.

Streamline Your Workflow

Tellers who have to walk back and forth and loan officers who collect paperwork from the opposite end of your branch aren’t working efficiently. When designing your floor layout, ensure that your employees benefit from practical personnel and equipment placements. This has to start in the beginning stages of your branch planning process. The client experience can’t be an afterthought. 

Install Trending Technology

Technology options develop rapidly, and many banks and credit unions are integrating some of them into their branches. Some examples are:

  • Digital displays
  • AI interfaces
  • Cryptocurrency services
  • Facial recognition software
  • Interactive teller machines (ITMs
  • Teller cash recyclers
  • Self-service tools
  • Video walls and digital signs

Don’t rush into investing in financial technology just because it’s trendy; instead, determine if it will make your employees more efficient or provide convenience to your clients.

Use Interior Design Wisely

Is your branch located in the desert, close to mountains, or near a national park in a large city? You can use color schemes, fixtures, flooring, furniture, and decor that complement your location.

Most banking clients prefer a customized aesthetic over a more sterile, generic look. If your brand attracts specific age groups or demographic groups, cater to them when making interior design selections.

Provide Private Spaces

Nobody wants to be overheard when discussing an overdrawn account or a new mortgage application. Finances are personal, and your clients need to know that you understand and respect that.

Suppose private offices aren’t an option; place desks and seating strategically so that clients walking to teller stations won’t overhear your established clients. You can position decor or plants between loan officers’ desks as an alternative to solid partitions.

Consider Co-Branding

A recent yet growing trend is to generate more clients traffic by partnering with other retail companies. Providing a space for a local or franchise coffee shop, for instance, will likely bring clients into the bank or credit union who might not visit otherwise. If you position the coffee shop next to a video wall advertising your brand and the services you offer, you have an excellent chance to gain a new client.

DBSI Stands Out From the Rest


Why trust DBSI with your credit union or bank transformation needs?

  • We provide solutions for your specific needs. Design-build, real estate, strategic consulting, banking technology and so much more. 
  • We understand the banking industry.
  • We incorporate your design-build, staff training, and technology intent into our services, allowing you to enjoy a frictionless experience.
  • Our data-driven process decreases risk and creates differentiation.
  • Our transparency gives you up-front pricing with no hidden costs.
  • We guarantee to complete your project on budget and on time and that it will meet your expectations.

We are proud to invite you to our Ideation Center in Arizona. This interactive location lets you and your executive team explore the newest bank floor plans, ideas, technology, designs, and trends. This hands-on opportunity exposes you to numerous banking strategies that inspire your branch transformation plans.

The Ideation Center is completely free, and seeing so many products in one realistic setting can save you time, frustration, and money. We will also take you to visit several local branches that follow the latest trends and best practices for credit union and bank branch design.

DBSI offers all the products and services you need to complete your branch transformation. For more information or to schedule a consultation, use our live chat, submit our online form, or call us at 855.ASK.DBSI.

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