Are you ready for a branch transformation? The choice to renovate your bank or credit union instead of new construction implies several things: the need and ability to optimize the building space, your investment in refreshing the employee and customer experiences, and an opportunity to enhance branch security.
These factors and others, which we’ll outline below, will ultimately determine the scope of your project. Physical and electronic security products, including many from trusted Wittenbach partners Hamilton, DMP, Kaba Mas, and Verint, are worthwhile to help you accomplish these renovation goals. Below, we have included food for thought as well as a checklist of recommended products to support your branch transformation; read on!
What are the factors should I consider when renovating my branch?
- Costs: Naturally, the expenses of any construction or renovation project can add up quickly: contractors, permits, hardware, software, and utilities are all at play. In addition, a renovation may require branch “downtime”, depending on the scope of your project—meaning there would be a temporary period during which customer transactions, especially those typically occurring inside your bank or credit union, may be interrupted.
When deciding on new products and service to outfit your branch, try to quantify the potential return on your investment: will it save you money, help to retain employees, deter crime, or drive customer loyalty? If the answer is “yes”, then it may be a worthwhile purchase. Also consider ways to leverage economies of scale; for example, if you can purchase new technology across several branches, the purchasing, installation, and maintenance costs can be more economical.
- Customer experience: If you aim to design an inviting and more functional space, consider all points of the customer experience, whether they enter the building or perhaps drive through for ATM/ITM transactions. Is your building footprint both modern and secure? Is your teller staff well-trained and empowered to provide superior, efficient service? Do your ATMs/ITMs run on user-friendly technology? Since the need for customer-centric in-person branch experience is not going away, take inventory of the ways that renovating your branch can delight clients and keep them coming back for that personal touch.
- Safety: In a branch setting with financial transactions and high employee and customer traffic, both by foot and by car, effective security is of the utmost importance. Both physical and electronic security offerings can contribute to the overall safety of your financial institution, offering peace of mind and confident, returning customers. With criminals becoming more savvy than ever, your institution’s knowledge of how to deter and detect crime must increase proportionally. If your branch security products and services are outdated, consider refreshing them as part of your renovation.
- Operational improvements: A branch transformation project should always serve to improve day-to-day operations; we can think of a few examples. A well-placed entrance or wall repositioning can improve the flow of client traffic. Providing your tellers with TCRs can expedite their cash handling processes and drive accuracy. Installing Hyosung 8300-series ITMs with video teller capabilities can provide further support to your drive-through customers, ensuring that their transactions are completed virtually every time.
- Optimizing space: When renovating your branch, consider ways to usher out old technology and make more use of the existing space. Sean Raboin of HTG Architects provides thoughts on ways to reallocate misused branch space: “Consider a bank where the teller line is on one side of the building and the drive up teller is on the opposite side. There’s a reason they’re always back-to-back in new designs. It saves space and it allows you to operate with fewer employees. On the other hand, a bank might have lots of unused space that used to be dedicated to old technology like check processing equipment. That is space that can be reallocated during a remodel to create an improved customer experience.”
Checklist: products to promote branch security and efficiency
- Physical security
- Hamilton entrance control system: Entrance control products such as the Entrance System Vestibule and gate security solutions can provide a layer of security, controlling the flow and traffic into and out of your branch. These can also be designed with aesthetics in mind, as they’re one of the first building features your customers may notice when entering your bank or credit union
- DMP hold-up buttons: DMP’s 1142 Series of hold-up buttons ensures that your employees are safe and can alert emergency services in the unlikely event of a robbery or dangerous incident. All DMP units have a tamper-proof case, a sleek and durable plastic housing, and extended range and battery life.
- Deal drawers: Per a recent spotlight blog post on Hamilton, we outlined the four most popular deal drawers in the financial industry: the Hamilton DD-8 compact deal drawer, the Hamilton 300WW walk-up drawer with manual rotary function, and the models 400DD and DCD-18 which both have superior audio, are sealed to open air, and are ideal for retrofitting into an existing branch space.
- Kaba Mas Auditcon 2 series lock: These safe and vault locks are designed with government-tested durability and time-enabled user management, ensuring that your currency, valuables, sensitive documents, and safe deposit boxes can remain protected at the highest degree.
- Electronic security
- Verint EdgeVR 300: This cutting-edge Network Video Recorder (NVR) keeps a keen eye on all happenings both inside and outside your branch, deterring and detecting crime. The EdgeVR 300 has facial recognition capabilities, using digital IP cameras to capture high-resolution footage and store it on the cloud for access virtually anywhere you need it.
- DMP Virtual Keypad: This tool provides selective, user- and zone-based access to buildings across geographies, making it easy to lock and unlock doors when needed. Advanced reporting capability means that you can also track when access is granted and denied, and the app is compatible with both Apple and Android devices.
- Other recommendations
- Cassida Zeus bill counter: Not only does this product increase teller productivity by discriminating different currency denominations, it can immediately reject and notify you of bills that are fraudulent or too worn to be in circulation, without stopping the count.
- Safe and vault rigging services: If you must move or dismantle your safe or vault during your branch transformation, it is important to hire a provider like Wittenbach who will respect the structural features of your branch. Since safes and vaults are part of the building’s fabric, trust our seasoned experts to reposition or remove them.
A branch renovation is no small undertaking, as the moving parts and factors to consider are impactful and intertwined. Thankfully the above checklist of Wittenbach-recommended products can assist with your branch transformation, delivering efficiency and security to your financial institution. Contact us to learn more about purchasing and installing these products today.