Addiko Bank opens 'branch of the future'

Source: Brigada

A unique banking outlet of Addiko Bank Express opened recently in Ljubljana’s BTC shopping center.

In this technologically contemporary designed space, created by the agency Brigada, banking services are adapted to modern needs of the client, and the “fast-paced” location within the shopping center. Visitors to the center, regardless of whether they are clients of Addiko bank or not, can realize transactions through a short and uncomplicated process, open an account, and even raise a loan up to 5,000 euros within just 30 minutes, all on their own or with the help of the staff available at the location.

Brigada’s team came up with this sales concept based on the insights from market analysis, user habits and needs. The results of the analysis showed that one of the biggest obstacles which bank customers encounter when going to the bank branch is very practical in nature - it takes too much of their time and they don’t have the possibility of choosing the ways of using the services. Therefore the ease of access and the possibility of independent selection and use are taken as the key desirable features of this type of services.

“Although the online and mobile banking have become standard, digital technologies within the office generally do not bring any novelties to the usual sales process. While we all own and regularly use touchscreens, physical branches are there to provide us with the experience and extra service that we are not able to do on our own, but in a quick, transparent and easy way,” said Damjan Geber, creative director at Brigada.

The main characteristics of the spatial concept of Addiko Bank Express are clarity, accessibility and speed. Already in front of the branch office, passers-by are attracted by a touchscreen that can be used to interactively gather information about the services offered, or to check options for fast loans, without even entering the bank. Upon entering the bank, clients can perform almost all offered services on their own, while their banker is available at the site if necessary.

The results of the analysis showed that there is still some distrust towards fully automated spaces, especially when it comes to financial services. Therefore there’s an info desk at the entrance with consultants of Addiko Bank, but their task is primarily to inform and assist clients in the independent use of new technologies.

After the information desk, clients are referred to the space where they can independently, or with the help of staff, take all necessary steps for the realization of a loan, after which they can finalize it at a fully automated central unit. This is actually a “smart ATM” which is a novelty in the Slovenian market and from which it is possible to raise a loan up to €5,000. In addition, this ATM allows automatized deposits of cash and paying up to 50 bills. All this is possible during the working hours of the shopping center, from Monday to Saturday from 9 to 20 hours, which is certainly uncommon for banking services in Slovenia, thus enabling clients to actually get cash at the time and at the place where they spend it.

For further information or clarification there’s a dedicated low-seating area, and near the entrance there are tablets and smartphones on which potential new users can test online or mobile banking as one of the key steps in the decision on opening an account with the Addiko Bank. All design elements and color chart follow the guidelines of the new communication strategy of the bank, set by the agency Bruketa&Žinić OM.

From the very first day users have recognized the possibilities of this branch, and its attendance and sales results surpassed all expectations. Openness of the bank outlet to the mall and the absence of the usual entry control or security officer have resulted in a very high frequency of entries, to a large extent by non-bank customers, which is extremely rare in traditional banking branches. Functional utilization of the relatively small space in an intuitive way provides services to all types of users who can easily navigate in this space, and most importantly, quickly and easily realize the reason why they came.

“This dynamic and modern space really is the future of banking, adapted and open to all, without spatial constraints or unnecessary steps in the implementation of the services that can make a visit to a regular banking office unnecessarily long,” says Geber.

“Branch office allows clients a fast and efficient way to get cash or quickly and easily perform those services that are now commonly used. An added value is the location itself of the outlet, because clients can easily perform most of their daily tasks in one place,” said Elica Vogrinc, director of retail sales at Addiko Bank Slovenia.

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