Member Exclusive, New banks

How COVID-19 is impacting bank branch design and function for years to come

  • The pandemic has been good for digital banking but it's also having an effect on bank branch design.
  • The size, design, and materials of the bank branch of the future will incorporate social distancing and wellness.
close

Email a Friend

How COVID-19 is impacting bank branch design and function for years to come

It’s not just digital banking that is impacted by the current pandemic. As the industry thinks about banking after COVID-19, the bank branch is also being reconsidered from a public health perspective. From architecture that incorporates social distancing to the purpose of physical locations, the bank branch may never look the same.

Helping customers navigate through a bank branch is taking on new importance in the age of social distancing. In addition to well-planned interior design, wayfinding is top of mind, as banks consider optimizing the speed at which customers move through their locations. Wayfinding can include design factors as well as signage to guide customers to where they need to go within a branch. “Literally, from arrows on the floor to signage, you have to work with wayfinding to get people in a space to circulate, whether it’s to a teller or a salesperson within the bank branch,” said Scott Spector, a principal at architecture and interior design firm, Spectorgroup. About half of the 40 clients his firm is working with right now are in financial services.

To handle customers and employees fearful of social interaction, banks will need to educate their workforces and their customers before they walk in the door to make them comfortable to move around and interact. Some banks responded with knee jerk, short term design changes that include built-in signage and plexiglass panels. “It’s like you’re walking into a 7-Eleven. Those things just don’t maintain durability,” Spector said.


This content is available exclusively to Tearsheet Outlier members.

Tearsheet Outlier information and signup Missing out? Subscribe today and you’ll receive unlimited access to all Tearsheet content, original research, exclusive webinars and events, member-only newsletters from Tearsheet editors and reporters and much more. Join Outlier now — $59/mo Already an Outlier member? Sign in to your account

1 comments on “How COVID-19 is impacting bank branch design and function for years to come”

  • I’ll be the first person to advocate for less branches and reallocating budgets to a better digital experience. However, the pandemic has given us a “universal reset” button. Knowing we will be going back to (somewhat) normal in the near future, this appears to be an ideal time to reconsider the branch or office space design.

    These locations are less about transactions, than they are about building relationships, trust and solving problems/obstacles for conducting business.

Outlier OpinionsMakers

New banks

How teens will bank in the future may depend on how they bank now

  • Financial products designed for teens are increasingly hitting the market this year.
  • Teens want financial education as part of their banking services.
Rivka Abramson | November 30, 2020
New banks, Podcasts

Building the Marcus brand: Goldman’s 2021 vision for its consumer banking product

  • Marcus by Goldman Sachs, Goldman’s consumer banking product suite, reached $96 billion in deposits in the third quarter of 2020.
  • Goldman will grow the Marcus product suite in 2021, encompassing checking, wealth management, savings and personal finance management.
Suman Bhattacharyya | November 25, 2020
New banks

The first LGBTQ digital bank launches in the U.S.

  • The LGBTQ community in the US is estimated to include 30 million people with $1 trillion in spending power.
  • Underserved by incumbent banks, Daylight launches to better serve the needs of the LGBTQ community.
Rimal Farrukh | November 19, 2020
New banks

‘Making a meaningful impact throughout our footprint’: CIT Bank launches its Thanksgiving ‘Two Million Meals’ campaign

  • As in previous years, CIT Bank is launching a Thanksgiving campaign in partnership with Feeding America.
  • In light of the pandemic, CIT Bank is doubling its goal of donating 1 million meals to 2 million meals
Rivka Abramson | November 18, 2020
New banks, Podcasts

Step’s CJ MacDonald on building a bank for teens

  • CJ MacDonald cofounded gyft, which was acquired by First Data in 2014.
  • He's back with Step, a banking platform targeting teens with age-appropriate services and financial education.
Zachary Miller | November 09, 2020
More Articles