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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

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Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Mattie!

Just in case you haven't seen the post in the research phase on ASK PAM (the hotel concierge) - https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/financial-longevity/research/ask-pam

Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Mattie!

This is a great idea! I look forward to seeing how it progresses. What is the next step to get your idea off the ground?

I great experience at a hotel a few days ago - Citizen M Hotel at Amsterdam airport. I booked it in advance online and paid for the room. The hotel was clearly signposted from the airport with arrows. Once I got there, check-in was via a machine. It was quick and intuitive. I could choose the room I wanted from a selection of three rooms. I can't remember the exact details but they told me the room number, whether it had views of the airport or the road. It felt really good that I could select my room of the ones left. I could also upgrade if I wanted. I could also select the number of room keys that I wanted. After I got my room key, a concierge approached me and gave me two tokens for free drinks at the bar and told me if I needed anything to come to the lobby and when his shift ended and another person started. I like the fact that I knew who to contact. He was also quick and to the point telling me what the hotel had to offer. 

Once I got to the room, the tablet on the hotel table said, "Welcome Citizen Kate Rushton!". The TV screen also said the same. 
The hotel room was geared towards business travellers and was all controlled by an ipad - mood lighting, temperature, option to set a wake-up call, the latest movies to watch (I think there was about 20/30). 

Interestingly there were no coffee or tea making facilities in the room - you had to go to the bar which was very communal and friendly. Everyone was there with their free drink from the bar and so it felt very inclusive. I generally find 'hip' bars daunting but there was such a variety of people it felt all encompassing. 

The hotel also had two shower gels: AM (to wake you up) and PM (to make you fall asleep. It really was geared for the international traveller. 

I was travelling with my Mum who is in her mid-sixties (just within the target age range for this group) and she loved it. She loved the sociableness of the free drink; she liked that the tablet was really intuitive - you press movies then recent releases then swipe across the screen to select the one you want; and she really like the little touches e.g. the branded pens had on them "steal me to write a letter to a loved one". 

Photo of Mattie Brice
Team

Thanks for this Kate! What I really liked about your example is that the hotel knew when you'd want simplicity and efficiency and when those could be put aside for a more friendly, communal feeling. Often when we are doing things like banking and moving about a hotel we just want to do what is the most effective, but there are times where it's really appreciated when we slow down and really enjoy the little details. We're definitely keeping in mind that balance since the idea of an intimate or friendly experience isn't the first thing people think of for banks, it would be nice to know when it's wanted and when it isn't.

Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

This is a short video on the Citizen M hotel - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1rnOX6GtbNA

Photo of Wingee Sin
Team

Hi Mattie! Love the new experience flow. Not sure if you have seen this - but the Society of Grownups was by far one of the most fun, relaxing(!) physical space financial service experience I have experienced.  Sadly they are closing their physical locations, and staying only digital. Check out their website.  https://www.societyofgrownups.com/

https://www.societyofgrownups.com/

Photo of OpenIDEO
Team

Congrats on this being today's Featured Contribution!

Photo of Mattie Brice
Team

Thank you! We're glad this resonated with the team.

Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Mattie, interesting post! Any chance you could find an image to go along with it? Images help grab attention and tell a story. You should be able to use the Edit Contribution button on the top of your post and follow the instructions to add images from there. Looking forward to seeing more of your inspiring insights on OpenIDEO.

Photo of Mattie Brice
Team

Hey there Kate! I posted some pictures to reflect a mood. Let us know if it inspires more feedback as we'd love to hear more.

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

@Mattie Brice @Spencer Cappiello @Shuang Liang @Adhish Patel and Jasmine Interesting idea that complement well Money Penny from your other idea.  I'm also wondering how you can build upon Sara and her team idea: https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/financial-longevity/ideas/heads-up 

In terms of examples, you could look at what Virgin did at Heathrow (see the Engine Service Design case we discussed at the beginning of the year). You might also want to check the case shared by Amy on the IDEO project https://www.ideo.com/case-study/transforming-the-banking-experienceYour idea also reminded me of Stefan Ritter  idea in a previous challenge https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/voting/winning-concepts/priority-queue

Looking forward to seeing how this idea evolves.