OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

Reimagining banking experience flow

Change the traditional movement, paths, lines, waiting spots, and customer service to reflect a more intimate, friendly environment.

Photo of Mattie Brice

Written by

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

In our research we received a lot of feedback that going to the bank was an unpleasant experience. Given the access to banking services enabled by apps and other technology, visits to the bank tend to be for more complicated tasks or for emergencies. Standing in lines or sitting in waiting rooms reminds bank-goes of the DMV or doctor's office instead of a place where someone will help them with their problems. Many interviewees wished for a more familiar and comfortable everyday experience.

The idea is to change customer service practices to focus on making bank-goer's experience more personalized and welcoming. The interior of banks tend to be stark and impersonal, with lines and waiting areas feeling public service facilities that people tend to avoid until they absolutely have to go. We want to make the bank an attractive spot to go so whenever any bank-related issues arise, people don't hesitate to visit.

We center the idea around a concierge that facilitates the experience of bank-goers. This concierge will guide the visitor through the experience while keeping their comfort in mind. They will be assisted by an app or program that has the visitor's information and banking history on hand, including their goals and other information they've chosen to share with the bank. This will allow the concierge to act as a guide and show the most relevant resources instead of just the person coming to the banker with a problem and being completely reactionary. The data will be accrued over visits and visitors can input data as they wait or at home through an app, answering questions about their current financial needs and their hopes and dreams for after retirement. Encouraging appointments or regular check-ups through the app will allow the concierge to prepare for each customer beforehand with the materials and answers they need while also choosing related educational topics that they believe is relevant for this customer's goals.

For this idea we reference on-boarding experiences deployed by some beauty salons and airliners by having a waiting room where you are given things like tea and wifi in a comfortable lit and furnished area. If the customer's needs can be solved by an ATM the concierge will show them how and the rest will wait in that area until a concierge retrieves them into their already personalized session. We'd be replacing teller lines and stark environments with a more attractive and comfortable place to be in. There would be a shift in needing more concierge than tellers, and having regular schedules so bank-goers can see the same familiar faces each time they go in.

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

Have an app or app-like interface that allows customers to submit financial data and goals they are comfortable with sharing along with questions they have. We could arrange a mock waiting area and practice new customer service protocols that guides the customer from arrival to personal counseling.

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

The most helpful feedback would be references to customer service experiences that worked in a professional setting that still feels intimate. Also what kind of experience would make something like visiting a bank more pleasurable and would turn the usual drudgery of financial planning and counseling into something you'd actually look forward to doing.

Tell us about your work experience:

We specialize in user experience across many platforms, from web, video, games, organizations, and events, using technology and a design process valuing research and innovation to solve client and customer problems.

This idea emerged from

  • A group brainstorm
  • A student collaboration


Join the conversation:

Photo of Kate Rushton

Hi Mattie!

Just in case you haven't seen the post in the research phase on ASK PAM (the hotel concierge) -

View all comments