Brilliant! – ATB’s banking bliss

Hate line-ups and drab décor? Enjoy lounging in a comfortable seat with free Starbucks and Wi-Fi? Fortunately, Edmonton-based ATB Financial is changing the in-bank experience with the help of Calgary agency Karo. This fall, Edmontonians will experience a newly designed branch, similar to three others that opened in Calgary earlier this year.

Hate line-ups and drab décor? Enjoy lounging in a comfortable seat with free Starbucks and Wi-Fi? Fortunately, Edmonton-based ATB Financial is changing the in-bank experience with the help of Calgary agency Karo. This fall, Edmontonians will experience a newly designed branch, similar to three others that opened in Calgary earlier this year.

Customers can relax in the ‘Dream Centre,’ and be waited on by a concierge instead of standing in teller lines. Employees also benefit from a staff lounge equipped with a Wii, LCD TV and computers.

‘The question is, why invest in a branch when a lot of other institutions are going the way of the internet?’ says Steve Fedorchuk, regional VP of retail financial services at ATB. ‘But 60% of our potential customers, of Albertans, prefer to still use bricks and mortar and supplement that experience with point and click. At the end of the day, you have to have a human element. You need a meeting place, and we wanted a feel like a coffee shop.’

Each redesigned branch reflects its community; for example, the branch at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology has a student lounge and foosball, while Calgary’s 17th Avenue branch features work by local artists. A supporting print, direct mail and OOH campaign has the tagline ‘You may never bank online again.’

The success of the prototype branches will determine whether or not the changes will be implemented across the 100+ branches in Alberta.