Branch Transformation, Retail Banking, Bank of the Future | DBSI

Micro Branch USECU Branch Design

Branch Design True Story: USE Credit Union

Dinky Salad Bar to Astonishing High-Tech Micro Branch

The challenges

Morph a salad bar into a high-tech Micro Branch
in a few short months

When a prime retail space became available, USECU was facing an incredibly short timeline, and a tight spot of only 489 sq/ft. to make an amazing branch happen.

Evolve role of branches from being transaction-oriented to relationship-focused.

USECU wanted to introduce new self-service technology to push transactions through automated channels, so employees could focus on member relationship-building.

Get members and staff to embrace new branch technology

Rolling out a new branch concept meant USECU needed the right tools and training to make sure the technology was embraced and used correctly by staff and members.

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The process

USC Micro Branch-Before-Tiny-Salad-BarFor the students on campus, it’s shockingly good. For the staff at USECU, it’s awe inspiring. Right in the middle of the food court at San Diego State University…is USE Credit Union’s newest Micro-Branch concept.

After nearly 3 years in a temporary branch on the SDSU campus, USECU had been patiently waiting for the right opportunity to build a modern branch experience.

When a space that had literally been a salad bar food line opened up in the food court on campus, USECU saw potential.

High foot traffic, in the middle of campus, students constantly lingering around. Except…USECU had big dreams for their new branch.

How could a salad bar and retail space only 489 square feet possibly be turned into the branch experience they were envisioning? And could it be done in just a few months, or risk losing the retail opportunity altogether?

An Ideation Center and Strategy to the Rescue

ic-image-largeUSECU had done research and called on the Branch Transformation experts at DBSI to lead the way.

Full of ideas of what they wanted, but no guidance as to how to achieve it successfully, USECU scheduled a visit to the perfect spot—DBSI’s Ideation Center.

During their visit, USECU began DBSI’s simple Branch Transformation process of first defining exactly what they wanted to achieve with their new branch, rounded out with an afternoon of physically seeing the technology, equipment, designs and digital signage that would help them achieve their newly created goals.

After seeing everything in person, and working with DBSI, the USECU executive team left the Ideation Center with a unified, clear picture of what their next branch project would be and tangible steps to move forward.

Hit the ground running

With actionable steps in place, everything started moving quickly to make their quick branch turnaround real.

First was working directly with DBSI’s design team. USECU knew they wanted a high tech branch that used some of the latest technology, like self-service and universal associates, but also a branch that still had a warm and personal feel. With a clear vision in place, DBSI and USECU collaborated on a design that hit all marks.

usecu interactive home Next was Digital Signage. USECU wanted to attract students busy eating their lunch into the branch, and knew Digital Signage would be a key element. DBSI’s Digital Signage agency helped USECU solidify a new branch identity and turn that into eye-catching content.

Another must for Digital Signage? As a credit union, it was important for USECU to educate and easily onboard their members. To create the perfect onboarding experience, DBSI crafted engaging videos, tutorials, quizzes, and beautiful interactive touchscreens.

While the Design and Digital teams were busy on the items for the branch, DBSI’s construction team was already in motion to speed the process up. Mapping every detail together, all of DBSI’s teams—Design, Construction, Equipment, and Digital Agency, were all working harmoniously together to make sure every deadline would happen without a hitch.

Going the extra mile for success

Delivery DefinedFor USECU, their branch transformation didn’t just stop at the build. Implementing a bunch of new concepts in their branch wouldn’t be complete until they had staff buy-in and training on how to use all the new technology.

So USECU enlisted DBSI to ensure the ongoing success of their branch through Delivery Defined, DBSI’s training program. The training was complete with role playing, equipment/technology education, all topped off with a staff play book so everyone was ready and comfortable with the new enhancements.

The result

060514_USE4USECU had an incredibly quick deadline of August 4th, an incredibly small space of 489 sq/ft. to work with, and an incredibly large task of defining a new flagship branch concept.

But for USECU and DBSI, the process was smooth sailing. Following DBSI’s strategic process all the way through, USECU’s new branch was opened and ready to go—right on schedule.

Since the branch opening, the feedback has been astounding. Members can’t believe their eyes at the transformation from salad bar to a beautiful, new style of banking with self-service kiosks, interactive tablet displays and a highly-experienced associates.

It’s not often you can say tight timeline, new innovative branch concept, construction project and fun in the same sentence, but for USECU, that pretty much sums up their DBSI and branch transformation experience.



Client Quote

“DBSI delivered an innovative branch that members find beautiful and staff are really proud of. Their simple, well-defined process made it easy for us to achieve our goals…not to mention, we had a lot of fun working with them.”

- Nicole Anderson | VP, Retail Delivery & Marketing

The DBSI X-Factor

  • A successful new branch experience means training your front-line to deliver it right. DBSI’s Delivery Defined program gave USECU staff a playbook on how to use and interact with new elements, like self service and universal tellers.
  • USECU had great ideas, but needed guidance on turning them into the right branch model. By following DBSI’s highly strategic and collaborative framework, USECU’s Branch Transformation was a simple task.
  • Turning a salad bar into a high tech micro-branch—that still has a warm, personal feel— is no easy task. DBSI’s design and construction teams worked in tandem to quickly turn the project around and deliver an innovative design that both members and staff adore.

Our Responsibilities

  • Consulting
  • Branch Design
  • Construction
  • Digital Signage
  • Video Production
  • Banking Equipment
  • Project Management
  • Delivery Defined – Staff Training