We routinely open accounts at banks to assess the experience in an effort to improve our own performance. We recently opened two online accounts (one at a national bank and one at an online bank). Both account openings were fast (under 10 minutes), and the experience was pleasant. We then opened an account in a branch at the same national bank where we opened the online account.
Surpassing Commerce Bank (NJ) almost a decade ago, Umpqua is now recognized as a leader in providing one of the best branch banking experiences in the world. Customers and employees delight in delivering a superior financially-oriented experience that is unsurpassed by most retail outlets let alone banks. In fact, bankers come from all over (we recently met one from Russia that last time we stopped into a branch) just to see the experience firsthand.
JP Morgan Chase’s new branch in the Texas Medical Center in Houston is special because of what is not in it – teller stations. Instead of a teller line, the new branch features an express banking kiosk or “EBK.” Basically a giant 21.5 inch iPad that customers can swipe, point and click to dispense cash in increments of $1, make deposits, pay bills, withdrawal up to $2,000 and even issue a new, permanent debit card.
PNC is underscoring the latest trend in banking of going to lower cost, more flexible branch foot prints. The Bank is experimenting with a 'pop-up' branch located in Chicago after they experimented with a similar structure in Atlanta. The Chicago location opened today and plans to be there for three months before moving. The pop-up structure not only helps build the bank’s brand as a forward thinking bank, but allows an inexpensive way to open accounts, demo new products, talk about consumer lending and garner feedback from the area on if a future branch makes sense.