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4 min read

10 Remodeling Ideas for Banks and Credit Unions Looking to Future-Proof Local Branches

10 Remodeling Ideas for Banks and Credit Unions Looking to Future-Proof Local Branches

Who knows what the future really holds? Did anyone really foresee the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic? It has certainly changed the world, especially for retail spaces. While most financial institutions stayed open as an essential business, nothing about it looked the same. 80% of Financial Institutions said their in-branch traffic went down and over 90% said their mobile & drive-thru traffic sped up. (Overcoming COVID-19 Obstacles Report, 2021) Consumers had to change their patterns and some may never fully go back to the way things were.  

So how do you future-proof your credit union or bank interior?  

If you are doing a full branch transformation or event just a branch remodel flexibility is key to building a strategy that will stand the test of time. You’re going to need some branch remodeling ideas that are cost-effective and will work time and time again. Think through how you can make your branch design flexible to areas that are the most prone to change. Is your financial institution in need of a rebrand in the next 5 years? Will the branch location change before the next branch remodel? Before you take the next step to remodel your branch, check out the top 10 branch remodeling ideas to future-proof your space. 

1. Redundant power outlets and data locations  

Technology will always change with or without a big catalyst like a pandemic. Plan for that change by adding extra power outlets and data locations. When remodeling, plan for redundant power and data outlets/locations, which can provide some level of future-proofing for tomorrow’s unknown equipment. IT is much easier and less expensive to add in some redundancy during a remodel or new build than to do it as a one-off project. Imagine making the investment in the latest tech after a remodel, only to find out from your banking technology provider that you have to add in power and data to get it up and running.  

2. Millwork  

Millwork has so many applications (many of which are listed below) but the real beauty of it is that it can be moved. Easily removable, or relocatable, millwork items housing “today’s” equipment, is ready to change for “tomorrow’s” equipment. Then when new equipment becomes available, in this quickly changing environment, the existing millwork can be adjusted or redesigned to accommodate the new technology. 

 3. Flex workstations  

Flexible workstations are the perfect multi-use spaces for bank and credit union interiors. And multi-use is nearly synonymous with future-proof. Flexible workstations such as Service Spot are made with millwork meaning they are easily removable or relocated. So as your branch interior changes these stations can change just as fast. Associates can use these to work when no one is in the branch, they can be used for advisory conversations with clients or even collaborative meetings between staff.  

4. Digital Signage  

Digital signage can easily be changed out without significant costs, offering flexibility for messaging. Promote products and services or communicate safety policies. Whatever the need is in the branch, you can adjust the signage. Digital signage is proven to attract the attention of consumers far better than static signage. Plus changing the content on your screens can dramatically change the look and feel of your branch without adding significant cost.  

5. Strategic brand elements  

Your brand should always be incorporated in your branch design, but if you’ve just been through a brand refresh you might have the budget for a full branch transformation. Use specialty lighting to highlight certain areas of the branch such as lounge area, discover area, or wow wall that already has your branding elements. And don’t forget about the small details. Incorporating their colors within the furniture helps tie the space together and make it look cohesive. 

6. Local Artwork  

One of our favorite branch remodeling ideas is to incorporate hyperlocal artwork into your branch. Whether it's through murals, photography, community bulletins embedded within the digital displays, it really makes an impact. Done right, it can look super trendy as well as bring in the community as part of your brand. Check out how Vantage West involved their staff in creating their hyperlocal murals in each of their branches.  

7. Be Trendy & Smart  

If you are doing a remodel and want to bring a modern feel to your branch, it’s likely there are some design items in your branch that are making it feel dated. Aim to create a timeless design with permeant features of you interior and save the trendy decisions for features that are easily and inexpensively swapped out. Think lighting, furniture, etc. This will help stretch your current branch and make your future branch remodeling projects much easier.  

8. Teller Tower  

The traditional teller line is difficult to remove and impossible to workaround. Open up your space with teller towers. Not only do they allow for collaborative conversation between your associates and clients, but they also just look better. Your clients can choose their banker instead of being funneled through a never-ending queue line only to be met with a banker that can’t fully help them through their needs. Teller towers make for a completely different and significantly better client experience.  

9. A Micro Branch Made from Millwork

Micro branches are all the rage, but how do you know that the perfect location now will be the perfect location in 3 years? A micro branch, like JUNXION, is made completely from millwork which means that it is easily movable or adjustable to accommodate a change in location, adjustments, or reconfigurations for new technology. 

10. Video Banking Technology  

Consumers want convenience and now, it's everywhere. Adding video banking technology opens up your services to more clients. Add ITMs in your drive-thrus or throughout your market to increase the amount of time and locations you offer your services. If your loan officers can’t be in multiple places at once (you know, like most humans) video banking technology can hold you over until teleportation is available. The more services you can offer from anywhere means you are ready for anything.  


The bottom line is, no one has a crystal ball looking into the future and what the consumer will want next. Accounting for flexibility in today’s design is key to having more options in the future. 


Want to future-proof your branches? Let’s talk 

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