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Sberbank’s Branch of the Future

There have been many attempts to create the branch of the future (Accenture, IBM, John RyanDeutsche Bank, Barclays Bank, Umpqua Bank …), and so I was intrigued to hear that Sberbank in Russia had made a major investment in creating a flagship branch in Moscow.

I meant to drop in during my recent visit, but didn't have time, so I was pleased to catch the announcement of the branch opening this week.


Although it may look, on first impression, like a normal branch …


With the lobby loaded with automated self-service machines, as you would expect, there are a few surprises.  For example, self-service contactless and remote advisor machines …


And then, as you go into the advisory banking area, you get a totally different look and feel …


With self-service advisory stations and 3D virtual advisors …


There's also a major 'relaxation area', with coffee, magazines and games for the children.


The branch is also loaded with technology, including biometric pass
identification where customers are scanned through the branch security
systems using a special card.  This means that staff are aware of who is coming in for advice in advance through the facial recognition system.

The branch was designed by Fitch and, according to Sberbank President Herman Gref, will service customers in as personalised a manner as possible.

This is why the bank plans to open twenty branches of this type across Russia by September 2010, with all branches converted by 2016.

Sberbank is the largest bank in Russia with over 19,000 retail outlets, so that's a major challenge and significant investment.

Worth watching.


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About Chris M Skinner

Chris M Skinner
Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, the Finanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal’s Financial News. To learn more click here...

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I was thinking about not sharing this info but hey, as you are good enough …


  1. My favourite saying about ‘banks of the future’ is “The best bank in the world is the bank you didn’t know you had” Meaning: You don’t need to go there, you don’t feel the fee pain, you don’t get charged unnecessarily, your deposits enable you to enjoy life without worrying about money, and the CRM system turns into a tax/cashflow optimisation system – less concerned with how to cross sell, and more concerned with opt out cross sell based on ‘financial optiomisation’ for the customers benefit -not the banks.

  2. In developed markets like Australia recent surveys show 50% of customers go to branches once a year, and around 16% never go to branches. We wonder whether there is a role for the branch at all in the future?

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