While the day started with a few jokes here and there, Hawai’i State Federal Credit Union and The Element Group were focused on one goal; to gain a complete and solidified understanding of the new in-store branch design. First through the door with a wide grin, is Ismael “Ish” Eustaquio, the Senior Vice President of Retail Banking. Close behind him is Aaron Vallely, the Senior Vice President of Retail Banking, and Ryan Hirata, Marketing Manager.
The new branches will be paperless and focus on maintaining a high-quality retail environment in even the smallest of the four locations, which was less than 251 ft2 in total. Drawing from designer Bob Turner’s cube concept, these in-stores are focused less on being a typical one dimensional “branch space” and more of a “DreamStudio;” a place to collaborate, appeal to real needs, and meet goals. Their unique layout encourages the connectivity and relationships which are essential to the HSFCU core values. These spaces incorporate new Hyosung Interactive Teller Machines into their design (ITMs). These machines are high tech and use finger and handprint recognition to accurately prove identity and protect account details. In addition to traditional ATM functions that allow members to check account balances and withdraw cash, the ITMs can transfer money bewteen accounts, make loan payments, and make credit card payments.
Due to the small square footage, it was difficult to visualize the placement of these machines in relation to engagement areas and closing offices. To remedy this problem, Element utilized painter’s tape and an assortment of chairs at HQ to better understand the layout, ultimately settling on a conceptualized triangle. That conceptualized triangle became the focus of an interactive activity coined “Build a Branch.” This activity was comprised of a life-sized model made of paper, held up by bricks, hardware clamps, and tape. This 2-scale model provided key insights into the dynamics of the space, and encouraged a move towards a trapezoid focused concept, complete with digital engagement. This new layout was ideal for even the smallest in-store location, and allowed for easy workshopping and finalization of HSFCU’s in-store design.
The hard work done, the day ended with more laughter as Element engaged in some very competitive Ping-Pong [see Ish face off against Mac], and finished with dinner at 110 Grill in Portsmouth.