Gallery: A new branch model built around self-service banking solutions

A bank branch is both expensive to operate — nearly 16,000 of them in the U.S. are unprofitable — and constantly evolving — since 1985, the number of transactions carried out in the branch channel has dropped by 55 percent. 

When University Federal Credit Union found itself face-to-face with the modern-day realities of branch operation, the Austin-Texas-based FI decided it was time to reinvent the model.

UFCU worked with the branch transformations group at Diebold, led by Raja Bose, to develop a branch concept that would simultaneously emphasize customer service and low operating costs — two business objectives that don't necessarily go hand in hand.

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But the credit union and the Diebold team ultimately hit upon a formula that did achieve both goals by focusing on two key elements: assisted self-service and universal personal financial representatives.

Steve Kubala, senior vice president of operations and COO at University Federal Credit Union, said that customers readily accepted the model, which immediately began to generate returns.

"Our typical branch had 12 full-time equivalents," Kubala said. "And at this branch what we started out with was a base level of five FTEs. The return on investment was relatively quick for us because we deployed four financial centers in a 5-month period that were this interactive center model. Each of those the savings is about $350,000 a year in staffing costs." What's more, costs per transaction have declined substantially, Kubala said.

The following slide show offers a closer look at the UFCU branch reinvention — design, environment, banker/member interaction, and the self-service solutions that provide the underpinnings for the new branch model.

View the photo gallery.

For more on this topic, visit the manufacturers research center.

All images courtesy of Diebold.

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User Comments – Give us your opinion!
  • Tope Ajao
    I am sure what has been done here can be adopted to local environment. Prior to now, banking in Nigeria used to be about the size of branches which is still impacting on most banks right now. This is apt especially at a time when financial institutions adjust their businesses to focus on customer service as against products with significant reduction in operations cost. Banking must be a lifestyle and this must include the Retail arm as well...
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