Enhance Branch Health and Safetyby Nina Penson
As featured in CU Insight, June 4, 2020: Leveraging Technology To Enhance Branch Health And Safety
When it comes to the consumer journey, the branch banking experience has looked and felt the same for decades, and consumers were accepting of that. But, even before COVID-19, things were starting to change. In recent years, consumers have come to expect the same high-tech amenities at their banks and credit unions as they experience in other retail environments, balanced with the in-person, community-based financial expertise that occurs face-to-face in the physical branch. As “shelter at home” orders expire and branches across the nation reopen, not only will there be a continued need to balance the high-tech with the individualized, personal-relationship, but there will be a need to adapt in direct response to the wants and needs of the post-pandemic consumer.
As a result, financial institutions must consider modifications that prioritize public health and safety – in a way that eases any fears, and projects a sense of security, safety and well-being for consumers and employees alike. There are multiple, baseline modifications branches can and should consider before reopening. Which solutions are right for each branch will be dependent on multiple factors, including the local impact of the pandemic and consumer sentiment. Simple modifications, like floor markers, acrylic partitions and sanitization stations, meet the immediate need and are critical to a reopening strategy; however, as we look to the branch of the future, we have an opportunity to seamlessly integrate these and more advanced safety elements to ensure a comfortable experience for the consumer. Through creative, adaptable design, a relationship-based, high-tech, AND high-safety branch can and should feel natural.