Historical artifacts have proven the existence of banking in the 7th century BC. Now it is difficult to say what design was in the bank premises of that time. However, the older and middle generations remember well the appearance of the establishments of the Soviet Savings Bank. He had no competitors in the country, so no importance was attached to the design of the premises and the convenience of the customers. The space delimited by a high uncomfortable counter, stuffiness, poor lighting, queues – all these are signs of the “banking” atmosphere of the past.
Bank of the future. How the trendy interior is changing the attitude of customers towards banking institutions
With the increase in the number of banks, their customer focus has also grown. In the struggle for clientele, banks have changed and over time the traditional model of separation has developed. Now managers have settled down not at an uncomfortable counter, but at ordinary office desks with an armchair intended for the clients of the institution. In such an interior, the client could comfortably sit in an armchair and fill out all the necessary documents right on the spot. To increase security, cashiers were placed in a separate enclosed area. Thanks to a special window with a movable divider (transfer unit), when transferring cash, there is no direct contact between the customer and the staff. This service model added convenience to bank branches, but did not solve all the problems. The queues have not disappeared anywhere, which means that the atmosphere of tension has remained.
However, modern technologies do not stand still. Marketing structures strive to create the perfect balance between the bank and the client. The main function of modern banking interiors has become the maximum focus on convenience for the visitors of the institution. Now the focus is on the client, who no longer feels like a part of the pipeline, handling an endless queue of the same visitors. Human relations became important. An example of this is the implemented projects of the ZIKZAK studio of the PrivatBank premium service department in the IQ business center and on the street. Institutskaya. The manager’s workplace was moved to an island office bench inside a comfortable client area. At the entrance, the manager personally meets each client and takes him to the meeting room, offering tea and coffee along the way. As a result, the planning structure of the department has changed.
The advantages of this banking interior model are:
- elimination of queues;
- increased attention paid to each client;
- provision of additional services to visitors;
- the ability to confidentially resolve personal issues.
New technological research is moving forward at a rapid pace. Already at the moment, there is a steady growth in remote cash payments and transfers. Services are provided through a computer and using mobile applications, which allows you to manage your finances from the comfort of your home. Naturally, this trend determines the future role of branch offices. Now they are needed to solve non-standard issues that cannot yet be closed online. As a result, the line between a branch and a bank office may gradually be blurred. An example of this is the implemented project of the ZIKZAK studio, the ING office of Bank Ukraine, in which the function of the bank branch was integrated into the client area of the office. The global situation with the introduction of quarantine restrictions is largely catalyzing the process of digitalization of banking services. But under such conditions, can the presence of a real, and not a virtual, branch be an advantage when a client chooses a particular bank?
With all the conveniences of virtual service, nothing can replace real communication for a client, and this is what you should bet on in the long term. No robot can replace a real person, which means that our focus, as designers, will eventually shift even more towards creating an atmosphere that is now not just comfortable, but unique in each case. Why don’t people stop going to a restaurant when there is a wide range of delivery services available? The same motivation can be created for the client in the case of the bank. We set a similar goal when designing the space for the Nordic bank in the Igorevsky business center. As a result, we did not get a stereotypical bank branch, we got a unique space, the atmosphere of which encouraged clients to make new visits.
ZIKZAK Design Studio works according to its own methodology, which includes a wide arsenal of traditional and experimental techniques, and always creates a unique design that solves non-trivial tasks of the client. By contacting us, you can fully rely on us in solving all issues to create the best option for a room with a harmonious and super functional interior.
Article author: Kirill Komarov
CТO of design studio ZIKZAK