The Next Generation of Agile Branches for Banco De Bogota
AT1/11 Bogota Flagship Opening and Medellin Universal Branch Design
We worked with Banco de Bogota to design their next generation branch formats, to enhance their customers’ banking experience across their network. With increasing new players shifting the bank experience from physical to digital, banks are faced with customers that have new mindsets and rising expectations. People expect products and services anytime, anywhere, any place. We helped Banco de Bogota develop a branch network strategy that responds to their various customer segments’ evolving digital needs and lifestyles.
During workshops with the Banco de Bogota team we reviewed the customer hierarchy and branch user groups informing the branch typologies. We also investigated the customer journey touchpoints, to define their new operating model and the integration of technology within the branch experience.
Visiting 20 of their branches across 3 core cities, Bogota, Medillin and Baranquilla. This was supported by interviews with the branch/area managers and their senior team – during which we enquired about branch usage and customer needs.
Key findings included:
- There is much demand for digital solutions across all customer groups
- Human interaction is still important in the branch
- Attracting young and emerging customers by acknowledging their lifestyle needs
- Boosting the functionality of branches – for customer navigation / for efficient migration of transactional banking to digital
- Achieve more high value sales through an improved customer experience – improving the waiting and consultation areas
The concept for the branch formats was based on the Spirit of Openness, inspired by the notions of being honest, modern and bold. This design route was spread across the branch network consisting of four different formats Flagship, Universal, Youth and Express (mall/kiosk).
These multiple formats cater to the various customer groups and have been built based on branch size and location to offer different capabilities.
Flagship Bank Branch Design
The flagship format is a high-profile branch offering the best in class, focusing on experience over transactions. The AT1/11 flagship that just opened in Bogota, is located at the heart of the city centre and has been conceptualised to be a prime destination across 335 sq metres, embracing the future of banking. The space has been designed to cater to the likes of entrepreneurs and professionals. With this audience in mind, the branch has a co-working space with coffee bar, and a co-branded retail space that has partnered with Mac Centre. The flagship also has a flexible event space providing room to host seminars, lectures, product launches and other initiatives. Other key features of the AT1/11 branch include the 24/hour self service area with only two human facing tellers, deliberately designed to reduce transactional traffic and lead to alternative channels.
Universal Bank Branch Design
Universal is the format applied across the most branches, designed as modern and functional banking environments that are spread throughout accessible locations. Banco de Bogota opened their first re-furbished universal branch earlier this year in Medillin. The primary mission for these types of branches is to be agile to enhance service and sales delivery.
With significant queues and heavy traffic that are due to transactional banking, the navigation and waiting experience is key. To facilitate customer in-branch navigation we built a separation between the transactions area and the consultation areas, with a clear coloured sectioning of the space. This design feature allows the bank to feel dynamic and work efficiently to respond to its customers.
We also re-designed the waiting area, which was originally passive seating and a missed opportunity to engage with customers. It now includes free wifi and incorporates digital screens promoting Banco di Bogota’s different products and services. We also added a café point and upgraded the interior design with upholstered furniture and warmer lighting. The aim was to create an atmosphere that is more engaging and friendly. In other words, it’s signalling a positive change, an enriched banking experience.
Youth Branch Design
We identified a huge youth segment across Banco de Bogota’s customer profiles, however we noticed that none of the existing branches catered to them. The younger generation is the future customer, therefore Banco de Bogota wanted to strengthen their capabilities to engage and acquire this audience. To build relationships, that on the long term would signify a ROI.
We targeted students and graduates by offering a platform for financial education and in-branch facilities that match their lifestyles – all within a tech friendly environment. The main purpose of the youth concept is unlike the other formats, it’s a high visibility branch that proposes a different way of banking.
Aiming to step away from the intimidating traditional bank design, we built a concept that feels informal to better connect to the nature and expectations of millennials and Gen Z. It has a relaxed atmosphere within an exposed spatial configuration. The entire branch is an open space without any barriers, all areas are inviting, reachable and digitally enhanced.
The welcome and enquiry aims to feel like a café whilst all banking services and transactions are fully automated. Booking consultations and specific visits can be done via the app with activated reminders, supported by pro-active feedback that is also achieved digitally. Other tech-integrations include card activated identification, pre-registered application forms and proximity recognition. All Banco de Bogota product and services are showcased across interactive screens, and also available to download on smart devices, with the content being specific to the needs of the youth customer group. Facilities include a co-working space, event space, free Wi-Fi and beverages across the café area and the lounge used for casual finance advice.
Express Branch Design
To achieve greater market presence, we also developed the Express branches – a one stop shop for all banking needs. As a much smaller format, they are located in high-footfall locations making them accessible and visible. The main objective of these branches is to provide serve-assist facilities and transactions (no physical cash transactions), in other words it is a platform for lead generation and account acquisition. Express supports the Universal branch network, for cross selling and on-boarding. The strategy behind the design is to help identify customer demands and to provide quick solutions to everyday banking needs.
Within the Express branch solution there are the kiosks, a low-cost concept that accounts for 20% of the network. We consider it the most convenient contact point between the bank and its consumers for transactional banking. Express branches open for longer hours and integrate interactive technologies, multifunction automated services, consultation bars and video advisory solutions.
The multi-skilled staff are given tablets and a hot-desk area, which supports them in tracking and managing the customer journey. Additional features include redeemable vouchers with local retail partners, updates on transactions and real-time digital feedback from the consumers’ branch experience.
The branch network we designed for Banco de Bogota allows the bank to cater to a variety of its customers’ needs and confidently place itself as a competitive brand. The purpose of each format is specific but the impact as a network creates a powerful omnichannel strategy. Banco de Bogota’s new customer journey allows them to be functional with transactions, efficient with its digital integration and inspiring across its advisory and in-branch initiatives.