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If your branches haven't been updated in the past 7 years, it’s time for an update. With the speed at which clients’ expectations are growing, an outdated branch simply won't cut it. And this isn’t just because of innovations from other retail stores, like Apple and their open store format with tablet-based associates, that is increasing client expectations. Even players in the financial industry (big and small) are making upgrades, just look at the Capital One Café or BCU’s micro branch strategy.

But what does it actually mean to transform your branch in 2022? Here are a few ideas to consider:

The first option is the most basic: update your branch design.

If your branches still look more like a Post Office or DMV than a retail store, this applies to you. And no matter how tempting it can be, don’t just put up a new coat of paint and replace the old carpet and call it a day. That will not do the trick and will just cost more down the road.

A true retail environment is designed with intent, meaning that every piece of the branch serves a purpose or benefits the client or staff members in some way. Traditional banking designs, which are cold, boring, and built out of necessity, lack that intent.

So, whether you’re renovating an old branch or building a new branch, you’ll need to update these traditional branch design components with modern ones. This means:

  • Opening the floorplan up and creating a more engaging space with less clutter and strategically placed furniture.
  • Replacing teller lines with Teller Towers to remove the physical barrier between staff and clients that forces partial service and cold hand-offs.
  • Eliminating confining office spaces and cubicles that feel “salesy” and adding in flexible workstations known as Service Spots.

The second option is to enhance the technology in your branch.

If your design is right but your technology is lacking, there are a few things you can look to upgrade:

    • Cash Automation – If you aren’t already using Teller Cash Recyclers (TCRs), you need to be. If you are, are they integrated into your core? If you're still dealing with double-key entries and end-of-day balancing, there is a much better option with direct integration
    • TelllerTower2

  • Speaking of TCRs, when investing in these expensive technologies it's important you get the absolute most ROI from them.  iQ, a business intelligence tool created by our sister company CFM, can give you actionable insights into your machines so you can make data-driven decisions on purchasing, deploying, and optimizing your entire fleet. 

    HubSpot Video
  • Another critical piece of integrated TCRs is CFM’s award-winning and patented technology known as Remote Transaction Assist (RTA). This solution breaks your staff free from the teller line by allowing them to leverage any cash recycler to complete a transaction from anywhere.

    HubSpot Video
  • Universal Associate Technologies – If you’re really looking to step up your branch operations, switching over to the UA model makes a ton of sense. (Not sure what a UA is? Read onto the next section for all the details!). But in order to make this shift, you need to make sure that your associates have the technologies they need to do their jobs—especially since being tied to a physical workstation is counterintuitive to the UA model. CFM created a one-of-a-kind tablet-based interface for Universal Associates, known as NOMADIX.

    HubSpot Video

The third option is to revamp your staffing and service model.

If your branch is still operating with siloed roles of tellers and platform staff, it’s time to rethink. The modern client does not have time to speak with two different associates (or more!) to complete their banking needs when they come into the branch. Instead, they want to work with one associate from start to finish—just like at other retail establishments.

You can deliver on these expectations with Universal Associates. Also known as Concierge Bankers or Relationship Bankers, these staff members are cross-trained on completing transactions like a teller and more complex transactions, like platform staff. This allows for a more streamlined experience for clients who visit the branch and eliminates any waiting in the lobby or finger-pointing toward the teller line.

However, switching to this service model is not as simple as switching on a light. You have to make sure that your staff understands the reason for this shift, the value it provides your clients, and what it takes for them to be successful in this new role.

DBSI offers a professional services program known as Delivery Defined to help make this transition easy. Our team of highly-talented trainers will provide your staff with in-person and/or virtual coaching, including role-playing, an easy-to-reference guidebook, and online courses for continued learning.

Here you can explore a case study of our Delivery Defined program with Vantage West:


HubSpot Video


Your best option: Put it all together for a truly modern branch.

The real secret to developing a modern branch environment that looks great and operates even better is finding the right balance of all the above. When your design, technology, people, and processes are all synchronized, something magical happens. Your branch transforms into a home for advisory conversations, a watering hole for financial education and growth, and a valuable business in the local community.

To deliver this magical experience to your clients, we’ve created an equally magical program for you. Known as Fusion, this comprehensive approach creates the perfect balance between all the required components of a modern branch. DBSI brings the design, people, and process needed to build a retail branch to the table, and CFM brings the technology that enables these retail environments.

Learn more about Fusion here!

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