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Service Design for Banking May 6, 2011

Posted by reto wettach in service design, Uncategorized.

I am currently preparing a short talk on the topic of how service-design can improve our experience in banking, especially in branches.

The future of banking is in my point of view clearly online and – for certain aspects – even mobile. One of the loudest advocats of this future scenario is the blogger Chris Skinner, who shouts in his blog (and maybe somewhere else): The branch-based banking model is dead.

A more serious looking research by the Centre for European Economic Research proves his point: The authors M. Köhler and G. Lang did a market research and had 250 experts participating in their questionnaires.

First they show that the number of branches in Germany are declining:

(image source)

The surveyed experts indicated that they think that the number of branches will decline also in future:

(image source)

This is so far not too surprising, and I am sure this is true for most developed countries. According to the authors, banks are focussing not so much on closing branches, but on transformation of existing branches. They describe six different concepts for branches:

  • Vollservice-Filiale (full service branch)
  • Beratungsfiliale (branch for consulting – with highly qualitfied employees)
  • Selbstbedienungsfiliale (self service branch – as of today only for basic banking services applicable, but maybe in future for more. One suggestion is to get customer loyalitee through additional services at the terminal as e.g. ticket sales)
  • Banking Shop (in the paper also called ‘Credit-Shop’) (like a retail shop – the “contrary of the ‘branch for consulting'” – it is all about selling banking products in highly populated areas)
  • Erlebnisfiliale (experience branch – to offer an emotional experience related to the brand of the bank)
  • andere Filialkonzepte (others – highly specialized towards a certain audience)

(I arranged the order according to the ranking of significance by the experts)

So, this means that still the full-service branch is considered to be the most important concept of a branch. According to the authors, however, 1/5th of all transaction will be done in ‘branches for consulting’. They recommend that banks need to design their branches closer to the needs of the customers – and not to just offer the one fits all-branch.

In Berlin, we have one example for the Erlebnisfiliale: The Deutsche Bank branch Q110 in Friedrichstrasse:

(image source)



1. Service Design for Banking | NYjkim - May 20, 2011

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