The Credit Union Journal’s Special Report on The ‘branch of the future’ highlights the necessity that credit union branch design must incorporate both high tech and high touch. To illustrate the point, the reporter spoke to Island Savings Credit Union COO, Randy Bertsch, who described some of the thought behind the “branches of the future” concept. Randy Bertsch is quoted: “Our goal was to change the concept of banking to more retail, shopping experience. So we have moved from the fortress idea of a bank to a more transparent concept — lots of glass and windows so members can see activities and feel more welcomed.”
Credit unions need to adopt new trends in technology but not at the expense of the person to person experience. (The Island Savings project described here)
RATIO’s principal Christopher Pollard, led the Island Savings project, and offered this thought in the Credit Union Journal report, “When credit union clients begin to reconsider their brand or renovations that involve anticipating the future, sometimes panic ensues,” said Pollard. “I often see clients defaulting to what they see as tangible using conspicuous technology to demonstrate that they are forward thinking such as oversized screens and gimmicky technology that will be dated in a year.” The business case for more technology increasing transactions and services doesn’t often pan out.
RATIO has deep expertise in working with credit unions. Our team has provided architectural, interior design and planning services to credit unions for over 50 years. Recent and ongoing projects include: Island Savings Branch of the Future, award winning design on the downtown branch of Salmon Arm Savings & Credit Union, refresh of Greater Vancouver Community Credit Union’s brand and branch template, integrated consulting on all Vancity branches and the recent launch of forward-thinking branch concept for First West Credit Union through their Envision Financial brand.