Local customer-owned financial institution, Hunter United, will open its first new look branch in the redeveloped Stockland Green Hills Shopping Centre on March 22.
The credit union’s branch design invests heavily in digital technology, but the focus is customer convenience and community according to CEO, Tim Blomfield.
Gone is the traditional ATM and the tellers behind a glass wall at the back of the branch. Instead, the branch features a first for the Hunter; the Teller Infinity Machine affectionately known as Tiff. The machine allows customers to choose between self-service cash withdrawals and deposits as well as having staff to assist them if that is what they prefer.
“Our staff won’t hover if you don’t need them, but we are there as soon as you push the staff assist button,” Tim said.
Hunter United has used local building firm Collaborative Constructions and designer Holly&Co for the project. Tim said the branch will be warm and inviting to match Hunter United’s service. Staff are there to assist with the full range of banking but gone are the battery hen office cubicles. They’ve been replaced with a raised bench top as well as separate booths resembling the family kitchen table. For customers who prefer self-service banking, Apple, Android and Microsoft tablets will all be available for use.
“We’re about giving our customers the choice to do their banking the way they want to – not the way a bank wants to do it,” Tim said.
“Whether it’s taking out a loan to buy a car or a home, or simply saving up for a holiday, customers want conversations not interrogations, so we’ve designed a space that promotes this style of customer interaction.”
It is not all high tech though. In keeping with the family kitchen bench theme, a repurposed fridge door features prominently on the wall adjacent to the entrance. This can be used by any local business or community group to post information about upcoming events in the area.
“The fridge door still serves as many families go-to diary and appointment keeper, so we wanted a space in our branch to serve the same purpose for the local community.”
In keeping with its focus on the community, at the front of the branch is a large bench seat with built-in phone charging facilities which is free for everyone, not just customers.
“We’re community focused and providing a spot for people to sit and charge their phone seemed like a simple way to remove one of life’s little annoyances of running out of phone charge when you are out and about,” Tim said.
“Our Green Hills branch combines digital convenience without moving away from the personalised experience Hunter United has always been good at.”
The branch will be open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm as well as on Saturday mornings. Tim is also looking to offer the branch for local community groups to use after hours.
The current Green Hills branch, located across the road from the shopping centre, will close to make way for the new branch.
Hunter United is a Hunter based, customer owned financial institution with its origins serving workers at the former BHP Steelworks.
IMAGE |Hunter United’s new customer and community focused branch to open in Green Hills Shopping Centre.