The Future of Banking is All About People
Komerční Banka (KB) is one of the largest banks in Czech Republic – with 216 branches and over 7500 employees nationwide.
In 2022, KB – a subsidiary of Societe Generale – worked with Reaktor to create a completely user-centric redesign of their bank branches. The goal was to bring the mobility of Internet banking into the setting of the traditional bank branch.
Today, dozens of branches across the country are furnished with Framery pods and packed with technologies to make modern banking easier.
The Way People Bank has Changed
Traditional banking needs to adapt.
The modern bank should be a place where people come to meet with a partner – not a banker. This was the underlying principle used to guide Jakub Heidler, Motivator & Visionary at Studio Reaktor.
“Modern banking needs to be full of modern technologies that make it easy to manage any task.”
Branches should keep some traditional qualities, but must become flexible enough to adapt to changes that may lie ahead.
Online Banking has Changed Everything
Contact with customers has dropped significantly.
These days, people don’t visit bank branches or ATMs very often. Online banking gives people access to their accounts, contactless payment, and automatic bill pay – all directly from their phone or computer.
“Customers should feel inspired to visit and gain new financial knowledge.”
Traditional bank branches clash with technologies required for modern banking – leaving people overwhelmed and disencouraged to visit in person.
A Modern Solution for The Future of Banking
Framery’s design stands out
Heidler’s team at Reaktor chose Framery to help Framery pods were the key product in creating the whole concept of flexible space and modern look.
“They give us a specific look – and separate us from the competition.”
The soundproof pods provide privacy for customers and bankers to meet – and a sleek design that brings traditional banking into the modern age.
A Bank Designed for the Future
People Come First
Using an open-office design brings people together.
The team at Reaktor took advantage of their extensive experience designing office facilities in their approach to this redesign. With a focus on empathic communication, they wanted to create a space where clients sit next to their banking partner – rather than looking at the back of their computer monitor from across a desk.
“The atmosphere should be evocative of a cafe or a co-working space.”
Integrating Framery pods allowed the designers to remove high walls and closed-off rooms, creating an open and welcoming atmosphere.
Areas Have Purpose
Dividing the space into zones helps improve the customer experience.
The branch layout is structured into specific zones, each with its own function and focal point.
- The Entrance Zone features large tables where clients can sit casually and chat
- The Central Zone is reminiscent of a cafe – providing a great setting for more in-depth conversation
- The Rear Zone houses the back office with workstations for bank employees
Reaktor Architects Vojtěch Rýzner and Tereza Komárková used strategically-placed Framery pods as room dividers, separating the office workstations from customer spaces without compromising the atmosphere.
Banking Remains Private
Providing private meeting spaces preserves customer confidence.
It is critical for banks to create a sense of security for their customers. The Reaktor team was able to maintain this sense of security through the utilization of Framery Q and Framery 2Q pods.
“Bankers and clients can meet in an equal-to-equal setting.”
The soundproof meeting pods provide a space for customers and banking partners to meet face-to-face in private, without being sequestered to a small room down the hall.
Results of the Project
A physical representation of Internet banking.
The design team successfully merged the virtual reality of modern technologies with the physical nature of the real world. The design, inspired by mobile phones and tablets, embodies flexibility and variability.
“Framery pods were the key to the entire concept – providing a flexible solution with a modern look.”
It can fit within a historical structure, a modern shopping mall, or the first floor of an apartment complex.
Bringing People Back
A welcoming environment for customers.
The light, open interior of the new design is a welcome departure from the bank’s traditional dark stone and oppressive red design. Not only is the design excelling in comparison to other banks, but the number of people visiting the bank increased.
“95% of visitors have positive feedback about the redesign.”
People have even come off the street expecting to find a cafeteria or cafe.
A new way to think about banking.
The soundproof booths installed in the branch are used often. Previously absent from the industry, mobile pods and meeting rooms are a sustainable way to enhance the bank branch, as there are no resources wasted on remodeling, reconstructing, or recertifying. And they can easily be reorganized or moved from one branch to another, making them more cost-effective than new construction.
“Framery is the best product on the market.”
In short, the design team at Reaktor has shown that soundproof pods belong in banks.
The Future of Banking is Here
Room to Scale
Changing the way people think about banking.
The pilot branch in Prague has been so successful that it has scaled to 20 other branches within the Czech Republic – with a plan for an additional 80 branches in the coming years.
The team at Reaktor is working to extend the concept to Slovakia, Germany, and make it the standard approach throughout Societé Generale’s branches in Europe.
Framery’s Unlimited Potential
It doesn’t end with banking.
This design project has proven that it is possible to re-think old, stoic industries. And using Framery can help to bring them into the modern age.
“Booths have potential in so many industries we work in.”
Heidler is motivated to “push the limits and present Framery as magic boxes that can change the mindsets of stoned industries”.
Studio Reaktor Design Team
Jakub Heidler | Motivator & Visionary
Jan Kacer | Project’s Engine
Vojtěch Rýzner | Architect
Tereza Komárková | Architect