In our first part, we discussed the big upsides of going small with a Micro Branch.
Expanding on that concept, below are three additional types of smaller branch concepts that you can deploy to increase your branch network, either as part of your Hub & Spoke model, or simply as part of an innovative strategy.
The Storefront branch, or sometimes called the Inline Branch, may not be for everyone. Or, depending on where you are located geographically (Ubran, West Coast), a Storefront branch may be your only option.
What you may lose in the Storefront branch when it comes to parking options, you gain with proximity and cost. A Storefront branch can be seen as a sister-concept to the Micro Branch, but is more rooted in the notion that it may compliment your total location strategy and aid in overall operational costs.
Additionally, it may also be the only option, geographically speaking. In urban settings, a storefront branch may truly be the only (feasible) option. If McDonald’s and Grocery Stores in New York City or San Francisco execute Storefront options, you can too.
Lastly, in places like coastal California, standalone branch locations are just not economically feasible. Storefront branches are not only common, but may very well be the only option for the community bank or credit union.
An intriguing and innovative concept beginning to take root is the Tellerless Branch. This is exactly as it sounds – it’s a “branch” with no actual people working there. These smaller branches truly bring innovation and technology to the forefront.
Allowing customers to access 24/7 and complete typical transactions is just the start. Advisory or special services can still be conducted through video conferencing, two-way chats or of course, traditional phone.
The introduction of the Interactive Teller Machine (ITM) has really paved the way for the Tellerless Branch. It combines the convenience of a traditional ATM with the built-in functionality of two-way video. This allows for a compact, jack-of-all-trades that can handle the majority of traditional in-branch needs.
The final small branch concept to discuss is the idea of the Pop-Up Branch. Pop-Up Stores or Pop-Up Shops have become very popular over the past several years. Perhaps the idea gained steam by a combination of retail location availability (store closures forcing realtors to lease space in short duration spurts) and retailers needing to reinvent themselves, the idea can be used successfully by retail bankers.
The idea of Branch Transformation should be in the forefront of any retail bankers mindset when in the strategic planning phase. But, change is scary. Doing something differently, especially within the traditionally conservative nature of banking, can be a daunting task.
The genius of a Pop-Up Branch gives you the license to not only be creative, but to try new concepts either all-in or in an iterative process scenario. Launching a new concept publicly not only gives your brand an added PR boost, but gives you the opportunity to dial it back if the concept is not successful.
The whole idea is similar to when a TV Network releases a “limited 8 episode series” that’s different than what it typically does. If people do not receive it well, they move on. If they do, then they implement the idea for a full season.
Use your Pop-Up Branch as a lab. Test new concepts, be prepared to iterate on customer feedback, and you just may have tested and refined your new branch concept for the future.
Contact the Branch Transformation experts at LEVEL5 today to learn more about how going small can lead to big things.