19 Feb Standard Bank
“DP is a great business partner – flexible, engaging and adept at understanding their customers’ requirements, always ensuring the best end product is achieved.” – Precilla Pather, Head of Group Real Estate Services
“Sometime in 2012 Standard Bank partnered with DP to assist us in enhancing our CI and more importantly to align this plan to the digital journey the bank was embarking on, understanding the ever evolving technologies and banking trends.
“This journey would span a number of years and, as and when the greater Standard Bank business was ready, they would roll out digital devices, cash recyclers etc. The challenge DP undertook was to unfold this design alongside the ever-changing needs of the business.
“DP was remarkable with regards to understanding our requirements and contextualising them within a design framework. This saw the birth of ‘G8’ as our new CI for the Standard Bank branch network and 11 branches were piloted over a 12 month period.
“Soon thereafter, we commissioned DP to develop a derivative of G8 which encompasses the principles of flexibility, modularity and scalability. These principals were quickly becoming key requirements for branch design, given the uncertainties and changes within our business models. DP brought these principles to life and gave us the edge in rolling out this. We now can quite easily adapt and change spaces at short notice to accommodate any new devices.”
Digital devices will not replace the need for a branch. They may impact the location, quantity and function but connecting with customers in a real-world environment will forever be part of the banking experience.
Banking as a tool is incredibly enabling. Banks are often key life partners at critical moments: your student loan, your first car, first home, a larger home for your new family etc. The public perception of banking as a category, however, is completely at odds with this sentiment. ‘Retail’ banking has pushed the product so far that the retail environment has lost its relevance as a hospitality environment. First and foremost, a bank should be welcoming, easy to navigate and comfortable. Technology plays a role, but only if it enhances your experience. Filling the bank with screens and iPads has no relevance to a customer.
Re-thinking the entire experience and designing it without a need for signage was a key driver in the G8 concepts. Signage is a failure of design; a customer should find his or her way, not read it. The use of space, light and layout of the service points within a branch all contribute to way-finding. All DP’s time spent understanding customer needs, unpacking in-store service processes and working in-branch; to immerse ourselves fully in the environment lead us to key insights.