There have been many attempts to create the branch of the future (Accenture, IBM, John Ryan … Deutsche 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.
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.