BofA to revamp branch design to attract customers

IN AN EFFORT TO draw more customers into brick-and-mortar branches, Bank of America Corp. plans to renovate its 5,400 domestic branches.
Posted 4/4/13

BOSTON – Bank of America Corp. plans to renovate its 5,400 domestic branches to include tablet-carrying employees and couch and chair lounge areas for customer use in order to coax customers back into its branches, according to a report from USA Today.

In a move aimed at revamping its banking-customer relations and overall image, the report said that the bank has so far hired 6,500 of advisers, mortgage loan officers and small-business bankers to staff these revamped alcoves – tellers, in turn, will be “tucked in a corner,” while some 100 new offices will allow for greater confidentiality, hosting large-screen video conferencing systems capable of teleconferencing with off-site officials.

The drastic redesign aims to encourage Bank of America customers to confide back into the physical world of banking: customer transactions through its branches have dropped 10 percent annually, with many flocking to mobile or electronic mediums up to 300 million times per month, Rob Aulebach, Bank of America branch network planner and coordinator, told USA Today.

“We want the banking centers to be more warm, modernized, comfortable in their settings,” Aulebach said, noting that the branch business model must evolve from product-pushing to costumer-engaging, and much less like “your old stuffy bank.”

Other slated advancements include changes to its online, mobile and social platforms as well as upgraded ATMs with real-time “virtual teller” video-chatting capability, the first premiering in Boston in a few weeks.

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