Should Branch Space Shrink?
Money becomes an issue when your financial institution thinks about expanding, building more branch offices, to reach and serve more bank customers or credit union members.
But what if branches were smaller? Could they still offer the same level of service and cost less to build and operate?
Remember the time before digital cameras when photo companies set up kiosks in shopping center parking lots? Customers drove up, dropped off their film, and picked up the prints a day or two later. The kiosks were very popular.
You’ve probably seen the same kiosk-style operation used to sell fresh coffee. The commuter drives up and buys a brew without wasting time on the way to work.
Now I’m not suggestion your financial institution set up one-person-size kiosks. That’s much too small and poses security issues. But keep that basic quick convenience factor in mind.
Now, what’s the square footage of the average supermarket branch? It’s much smaller than a stand-alone location. What if that supermarket standard was converted into a stand-alone building? You’d still have a teller desk and a private office or two for opening new accounts. There would be storage space. Of course, you’d have a drive-up lane…or three…because the lanes may be the best feature of a branch.
How many drive-up transactions do your offices handle versus in-the-office transactions? What’s the level of online banking? How quickly are you offering new technology, like mobile banking? Do Gen Y customers, who are so comfortable adopting new technology, need to visit an office often?
Are roomy brick buildings with six or so private offices and a half-dozen teller windows still needed? Or can you offer the same level of service, in more locations, if you shrink the square-footage of your branches to Express Bank size?
Something to think about?