Online banking isn’t the only future

Yes, banking has changed. It had to in order to keep up with customer preferences. And it will continue to do so. As the Greek philosopher Heraclitus said: “Change is the only constant in life.” 

The ATM and drive-through lanes didn’t put an end to face-to-face banking, and neither will online or mobile banking tools.

These advancements do require banks to provide higher-value experiences that build deeper relationships with their customers — online and on-site — to increase their lending opportunities.

Co-branding, or space sharing with another business, provides your customers with added comfort and convenience. As an added bonus for you, it can generate additional cross-traffic in your lobby, providing more opportunities to begin building new relationships with non-customers.

Some of the more traditional co-branding partners for banks have been investors, insurance agencies, accountants, attorneys and title companies. We also recommend taking a serious look at co-branding with retail businesses, like coffee shops or cell phone providers, to widen the opportunity for non-customer traffic.

We’ve seen this executed effectively a number of times. For example, HomeTown Bank in Waconia, Minn., successfully co-branded with Mocha Monkey, a local coffee shop. Mike Orth, vice president and manager, said: “At any given time throughout the day, I see 10 to 12 people sitting in the shared waiting space. Coffee customers are exposed to the bank employees and the bank customers are able to get a great cup of coffee. This union of HomeTown Bank and Mocha Monkey has more than exceeded our expectations and allowed us to hit our revenue goals.”

You can’t predict the future, but you can prepare for it. While today’s change is heavily focused on bank-not-present transactions (e.g., online and mobile), we can’t be sure what tomorrow’s change will bring. But you can work to future-proof your bank by providing experiences that build strong repeat customer relationships today.


Sean Raboin is a partner at HTG Architects, Minneapolis. He can be reached at (952) 278-8880 or at [email protected]