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UPDATE 12/13/16: Branch on Wheels

Providing those 50+ with a convenient and innovative alternative to visiting their banks.

Photo of Qyana Jené

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Who is your idea designed for and how does it support the dreams and obligations of those 50 and older?

Our idea is designed for those 50+ who may not be able to leave their homes on a regular basis to run needed errands. By creating a service that is delivered to customers' doors, we are looking to provide convenience and maintain the human interaction this age group loves.

Based on our discussion with a physics professor, we realized an unmet need of the elderly: many 50+ customers are immobile and getting to the bank may not be feasible on a regular basis. Additionally, Credit Unions tend to have less branches than regular banks, thus making financial errands extremely inconvenient to run for customers. 

For our final idea we focused on creating accessibility and convenience for our customers. We came up with “Branch on Wheels”, a mobile banking system that allows customers to have their financial errands delivered to their door or to their neighborhood. Branch on Wheels can be structured in two ways, which we are still debating:

- The “Uber for…” – a customer visits a website, app, or makes a phone call to request for a bank truck to come by a certain location (e.g. their house or work) and at a certain time. That way, they can run errands such as a cash withdrawal, speaking to a financial advisor, and depositing a check, right by their house. The truck would either look like a minivan or a UPS truck with the CO-OP and Mastercard logos painted outside, and it would have an ATM machine, a working station for a financial advisor and a community events bulletin board inside of it. 

- The Semi-mobile Branch on Wheels – branded trucks would move around town at selected locations (e.g. supermarket parking lot) on a fixed schedule and in areas where there aren’t any credit union branches. The trucks would move to a different location every day of the week from Mon-Sat, then repeat again on Mondays. These trucks would effectively act as bank branches, without the costs affiliated with a permanent location and with the added benefits of mobility and more convenience for the customers. The semi-mobile trucks could also act as a place of gathering for community organizations, or vice versa could “show up” at community events to promote certain services.

Our concept was driven by the insights we outlined above. Our service seeks to address the following areas of concern for customers 50+:

 - Convenience - provide customers with a way to easily access their banks without having to leave their homes and at times that are suitable to their schedules


- Ease of Use - with a simple app or website, customers 50+ will have the opportunity to schedule the branch-on-site service without having to fiddle with intricate web processes. For those who don’t have access to a smartphone or computer or who don’t feel comfortable using these platforms, there will be an option to place a phone call to a representative who can walk the consumer through a very simple process.


- Security - customers would be given a resource that allows them to feel comfortable handling their money in their own home versus going out and worrying about being taken advantage of when withdrawing money or other services in public.


- Human interaction - to allow the customer to build a relationship with a representative, a volunteer program could be created where graduate students studying finance or others with banking backgrounds interested in contributing to their communities could manage the service and serve as key representatives. Customers would be assigned a representative who would handle their needs anytime the service is used.

- Community Building - by making the truck come into the community, we could build a more positive image of financial institutions. It shows credit unions are willing to “drive the extra mile” to accommodate the customer and to get to know their community.


**Learnings from Feedback (12/13/16): 

After our team presented the "Branch on Wheels" idea, we received really useful feedback from the OpenIDEO team. Our original concept was to provide convenience and accessibility to those over 50. While we believe giving these consumers tools (such as being able to cash checks, withdraw money, make deposits, and complete other banking tasks) they need that can be delivered to their door is an efficient way to break a pain point for those over 50,  the OpenIDEO team pushed us to think of other services our mobile branch could provide that would be useful. Instead of just giving consumers the opportunity to fulfill banking needs they can accomplish at an actual branch, our goal moving forward will be to brainstorm how we can use the pain points we learned from our research to maximize customers' experience in a more innovative way.


As we finalize these add-ons, we must also decide whether we want to provide customers with the "Uber" type mobile experience or a mobile branch that moves around neighborhoods at certain times of the day. The feedback we received from OpenIDEO was that there could be value in starting with the scheduled mobile branch based on the needs of the neighborhoods (i.e. providing community meetups for financial resources since the credit unions are not close by). They also suggested that the "Uber" model could be introduced as an add on as it does amplify the convenience factor. 

What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

We could visit consumers who are at nursing homes or live in their own homes and see if they would find value in having us bring the banking experience to them.

Tell us about your work experience:

Music Business grad student with a marketing background. My teammates are all grad students at NYU as well in engineering/design.

Please check all that apply:

  • I'm not currently involved in a credit union, but am curious to learn more!

This idea emerged from

  • A group brainstorm

18 comments

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Comment
Spam
Photo of carlos errando vidal
Team

The idea of providing the customer with instant economic assistance on the go is very interesting and sounds like a much better experience than the actual model but I think security wise it seems very dangerous as the ATM trucks have to carry both great quantities of money as professionals on board putting them in risk in case of an act o violence. Also by flooding the streets with trucks full of money there is much more probabilities of robberies happening.

Spam
Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Qyana and team!

I hope you had a good start to the year.

Have you thought about getting feedback on your idea? A good example is from the beneficiary feedback video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mumEiw9I-Y8 - for the Markit Opportunity idea in a past challenge - https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/agricultural-innovation/improve/markit-opportunities-for-smallholder-farmers

A good example of user feedback testing is from a finalist from our previous challenge on food waste - Cobuy - Group buying software that helps people buy good food at good prices, together. This is a link to the idea - https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/food-waste/top-ideas/cobuy-group-buying-software-that-helps-people-buy-good-food-at-good-prices-together and a link to the feedback from users - https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/15FI9_uWUMsfppnoDHw0PRutAx53zVLOIjr6wmQExxIU/edit#gid=0

Spam
Photo of OpenIDEO
Team

Welcome to the Refinement phase Qyana! We've added new Refinement questions to your original submission that we'd love for you to answer. Please check out the Refinement Phase Toolkit for instructions on how to answer the new questions and other recommendations we encourage all idea teams to consider in the upcoming weeks.

Refinement Phase Toolkit: http://ideo.pn/2du9sf7

Lastly, here's a useful tip: When you update the content of your post, it'd be helpful to indicate this in your idea title by adding an extension. For example, you can add the extension " - Update: Experience Maps 12/21" to you idea title. This will be a good way to keep people informed about how your idea is progressing!

Spam
Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Qyana!

I look forward to seeing how this idea develops in the refinement phase.

Spam
Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Qyana Jené Sara Camnasio Caner @Nirja Shah check out @Bettina Fliegel idea https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/financial-longevity/ideas/community-matters I think there are interesting connections to explore. It reminded me Shane and Kate's suggestions last week to think of ways to connect the van with the community via events and pop ups. Don't forget to post a couple of photos from the presentation and the feedback you got: 1. exploring how to connect with community events; 2. location of the pilot: urban vs. rural areas. This might help you think of what model to pick. I also think that the answer to this question could be explored through a light prototype to get customers' feedback. Thanks!

Spam
Photo of Bettina Fliegel
Team

Hi Qyana and team. I like the suggestion to think about how your idea might connect with community in different ways. I wonder if looking at ways that mobile medical vans are utilized in bringing services to communities might give you some inspirations/ideas? Health care is also an industry where trust and human interactions play a major role.
http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/medical_examiner/2015/05/mobile_health_clinics_outcomes_community_relationships_privacy_concerns.html

Bettina

Spam
Photo of Max
Team

Hey there, team!

Awesome idea. I think ideas like this (making brick and mortar more accessible) will only become more and more prevalent in the coming years. Obviously, this project is targeted at the 50+. However, I think there is a lot of potential to grow this idea even further. For example, leveraging the bus to take to schools and offering basic financial education to all ages could be another effective way to build community. At the end of the day to make this financially feasible, the credit union should be striving to add more customers. Dedicating themselves to the community by using this program in other innovative ways like services/education/maybe even delivery? would help make them a staple in the community and a trusted financial partner.

Spam
Photo of Qyana Jené
Team

Yea! We were thinking that too. The convenience factor would be appealing to those outside of just 50+. Agree increasing customers will be important, but I think with this resource, it could be a way to attract more customers who would find a convenient way to bank very appealing. Thanks for your feedback!

Spam
Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Qyana and team!

I just wanted to highlight a few services that are mobile that you might be able to draw some inspiration from:

Startup Britain - 'The StartUp Britain NatWest bus tours the country to give free
business advice to aspiring and early-stage entrepreneurs. This summer's StartUp Tour will visit 30 towns and cities to engage 10,000 people.' NATWEST is a TRADITIONAL BANK. http://startupbritain.org/bus/ On the bus people get free advice from entrepreneurs and experts. So it is not just bank employees.


NatWest is working closely with its tour partner StartUp Britain as well as the borough councils and local business and enterprise support organisations, who will have representatives on-board at each stop to provide support and advice.

Angela Bryne, Regional Managing Director, London & South East, Business Banking at NatWest, said: “Our mobile business bus is a great way to get into local communities and support aspiring business owners. By collaborating with StartUp Britain and local experts, we hope to provide a broader range of support to help more entrepreneurs realise their business ambitions across greater London than ever before”.

Spam
Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Great update! Looking forward to tomorrow's presentation.

Spam
Photo of Wingee Sin
Team

Hi! I love this idea (and the Banking Bus idea) potentially visiting all the senior homes/ assisted living locations, or one's workplace so you don't have to miss work. What a great way to create community and engagement! (reminds me a lot of mobile dentistry)  
Wingee Sin 

Spam
Photo of Sara Camnasio
Team

Hi Wingee Sin ! Thanks a lot for your feedback. Do you have any example links for the mobile dentistry example you're talking about?

Spam
Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Qyana Jené and team. I love the idea. To follow up on Nicole's 3rd point, you might want to think about what it will bring to people who have mobility issues but what it can also brings to people who don't have mobility issues but still might be attracted by your service.

Check also these articles: http://www.bizjournals.com/boston/news/2016/03/09/forget-food-trucks-this-bank-is-building-a-branch.html

https://www.mybanktracker.com/news/2011/01/20/30599/

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-26993637

In terms of prototyping, you need to have a prototype to be able to show to people. It could be a storyboard or a short video to present your service. Getting feedback from "extreme" users with mobility issues is a good idea. You could also get feedback from people who are more in the 50 - 65 range without mobility issues. Think about what would be the services you could provide with your branch on wheel. Looking forward to seeing the idea evolve. 

Spam
Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Hi all,check this post
https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/financial-longevity/ideas/driving-banking-into-the-community
 One of the members is from Credit Unions. So definitely worth asking them for feedback!

Spam
Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

@Qyana Jené and team I was thinking of the feedback you received yesterday and also your question about the cost entailed by such a solution. However, I was wondering what was the cost of real estate vs. a van.  It might be that a van will end up being cheaper. I can also see the potential ability of the van to be a space for community events / meetups. Maybe in connection with Lillian J Warner and team Incubators' club. 

Spam
Photo of Lillian J Warner
Team

Hi! Yeah, I agree--I think both of our groups' projects have the common thread of emphasizing the potential of an enriching in-person experience!

Spam
Photo of Nicole Lopez-Conti
Team

Cool idea, guys. 

This aligns somewhat with the emerging concept of businesses which 'come to you'. The phrase "It's like Uber for..." is heard countless times in service marketing pitches these days, and the reasons for the high demand for these services are also countless.

Get Ready (mobile hair and make up), the endless mobile massage and spas that are emerging, and lest we forget the brainchild who started it all...Uber. 

Hopefully these thoughts help to move the idea along the continuum...

1) Consider which banking services do necessarily need to be done by a human these days and how much longer will those need to be done by a human. I agree that in-person banking is with us, at least for the next few years.

2) Consider why some of the 'Uber for..." businesses fail so quickly (i.e. Z-tailor, Men's Warehouse's mobile tailoring division which was around for a short time)

3) Consider the positioning of your idea. Right now it is targeted to folks who can't leave their homes, perhaps expand the language to encompass the masses who don't necessarily have mobility issues but love the 'Uber for...' model for a myriad of reasons.

Best wishes - this is a very cool concept.

Nicole

Spam
Photo of Qyana Jené
Team

Thanks, Nicole Lopez-Conti ! I like your angle about examining why Uber is succesful and where it fails to use as a benchmark for the idea. I think that's a great way to look at how we can make the idea more attractive to people who are 50+ and are mobile, but may look at the convenience it provides as a strong point.