Rethinking The Bank Lobby

Picture yourself in a bank lobby.  Almost any bank.  What do you see? Chances are, your mind’s eye paints a stereotypical scene:  cherry furniture, an elaborate chandelier, hard, rigid chairs, and lots of sage green coloring in a lobby where no one under the age of 40 is present. The employees may be friendly and knowledgeable, but the environment is boring and predictable.

Although new advances in banking technology have significantly reduced the need to physically visit a bank location, technology may not be the only reason why fewer people actually travel to a bank.  And if banks want to capture the future business of younger generations, they need to do what they can to attract millennials to use their banks – both virtually and physically.

Banks know they should cater to their customers, but these institutions also need to think about what they can do to get their clients to come into the bank, to do more banking, and to be introduced to additional products.  The answer may lie in efforts to move beyond the impersonal while maintaining convenience, to highlight their tech-savvy capabilities while creating a space that people of all ages want to spend time in.  This could be achieved by transitioning the more traditional but staid bank lobby into a more relaxed, collaborative banking lounge.

Adding contemporary furniture lines that combine a lounge-like comfortable feel with a professional atmosphere is one way to accomplish this transition.  Banking isn’t the only industry that’s been affected by technology – new sofas have movable parts that can transition into semi-partitioned and sound-modified spaces that allow for private phone conversations, while also offering ports for users to plug into and charge their devices.  Replacing hard, more formal chairs with soft seating in contemporary shapes like modular or serpentine chairs and strategically dotting the space with them also offer a soft, warm first impression.  Bright and frequent colors and complementary patterns and textures also do the trick to transform a space from lackluster to lively, while still maintaining a professional feel.