A bank office usually isn’t considered the cosiest place on earth. A grey counter, some weak coffee and lots of noisy marketing messages. ING felt there was a need to move away from that stereotype and has a clear vision of the future: “In the era of digital banking, the emphasis for bank offices is on personal contact and advice more than ever.” Instead of the traditional counter, we put transparency and homeliness at the core of the design. We created a place where conversations are started and relations can be built. A real bank. The bank next door.
With the digital revolution in the banking sector in mind, ING decided the way they accommodate visitors should be changed accordingly. In order to find out how to translate the idea into a new office space, we started a thorough research into the way staff and clients could interact. Our investigation gave us great insight in the possible setup of this new type of bank, functionally as well as aesthetically.
We made drastic changes in both the functional layout and the look and feel of the office. We concluded that a hospitality minded approach would best suit the new type of banking. This approach can be sensed in the way clients are addressed and tended to, but in the overall atmosphere of the interior as well.
The clients can wait in a warm coffee bar named ‘black gold’. Self-banking is done on the ‘workbench’, where all digital touchpoints are available and staff is helping and advising people on the how-to’s of digital banking. Personal encounters can be had in open, semi-closed or completely private rooms. The staff’s offices are on the first floor and blend in with the public space. As a result, the bank takes on a more human face.