When we first read this piece, we immediately thought Kroger self-checkout meets the banking industry. As many of you may know, the grocer Kroger (at least here in Atlanta) now has almost as many self checkout kiosks in their stories as they do regular checkout lanes with live cashiers. They accomplish this with one employee standing watch over 8-10 registers where customers do their own grocery checkouts. Seems the same thing is now occurring in the UK in the banking sector, with Lloyds Banking Group to introducing new serve yourself “micro-branches” in several of its previous high street locations. Watch for this trend to continue worldwide in coming years.
“It’s not just bars of chocolate, new homes and glaciers that are getting smaller – so are bank branches. Over the coming weeks and months, Lloyds Banking Group will be shrinking some of its existing high street outlets and turning them into “micro-branches”.
These tiny branches won’t have traditional counters, so if you want to withdraw cash or pay money into your account you will have to serve yourself using a machine. And while staff will be on hand, customers are being warned that there will be lots of things that you won’t be able to do in these pint-sized branches.
The Lloyds group is currently in the midst of a major shake-up of its network. As Guardian Money reported last month, it recently opened its first “flagship” branch in Manchester city centre: a huge Lloyds Bank boasting acres of space, its own coffee shop and dedicated business hub alongside all the services you would normally expect. But while some people are having their branch super-sized, others are getting the opposite treatment and will soon find that their local branch is arguably a shadow of its former self.
Earlier this year the bank started trialling a micro-branch located near St Paul’s cathedral in London, and there are now three more up and running: in the Summertown suburb of Oxford (Lloyds Bank), in Weybridge, Surrey (Lloyds Bank), and in Windsor (Halifax). The group says it expects to open around 10 micro-branches by the end of the year across its Lloyds, Halifax and Bank of Scotland brands, adding: “We will continue to test these new formats and expect to open a small number in early 2018.”…”
Full Story at TheGuardian