Gathering spots

How Field & Main Bank’s new universal banker model centers are cultivating community and customers.

By Katie Kuehner-Hebert

Field & Main Bank’s redesigned centers based on the universal banker model are delighting existing customers and attracting new ones.

The $404 million-asset bank, based in Henderson, Ky., worked with design firm NewGround to renovate both its flagship branch and a center in Cynthiana, Ky., under the new model. Notable features include freestanding teller pods, digital media displays, a conference room that can be used by community groups and business customers, and an outdoor patio for community events.

“Our newly designed banking centers further Field & Main Bank’s commitment to providing a community banking experience that’s both personal and consistent with modern-day activities and expectations,” says Scott P. Davis, the community bank’s chairman and CEO.

The driving force behind Field & Main Bank’s universal banker model is the changing role of its branches, says Kevin Blair, president and CEO of NewGround, which is based in Chesterfield, Mo. Transactions are increasingly being conducted through digital channels, which has diminished the need for dedicated tellers in branches and decreased the branch footprint. In addition to processing transactions, employees open new accounts and introduce customers to products that fit their needs.

Each branch “should really be focused on customer experiences and building deeper and more meaningful relationships with customers,” Blair says. “It’s more of a consultative environment, conducted around pods within a variety of different designs now being used today.”

Field & Main Bank’s freestanding service pods with currency recyclers remove the literal barrier created by traditional teller lines, “providing a warmer and more approachable interaction,” Davis says. The highly secure pods are stand-alone desks that enable bankers and customers to slide around to the side and share a view of transactions and balances on the computer screen.

“It creates a much higher level of engagement with the customer and more privacy in that the banker is not speaking across the counter and giving out a balance,” Davis says.

The digital media displays allow staff to promote the bank’s products, services and upcoming bank events, as well as local community initiatives. Staff members can update the digital information in real time, customize it by local market and connect all branches with consistently branded communications.

Good day, sunshine
In Cynthiana, a social area opens on to a bright and welcoming patio.

“Community members and groups are welcome to use that space for gatherings and meetings, along with our conference room,” Davis says. “We really thought about the elements that spoke to the deposit banking experience we want to create, and people have embraced it so well in Cynthiana.”

Blair says that many banks are designing spaces customers can use, even for nonbanking purposes.

“Most small businesses don’t have a technology-enabled conference center, so if a community bank opens up physical space for businesses to use, that’s a golden opportunity to deepen their relationships with those customers,” he says.

The Cynthiana center exterior combines modern features with traditional elements, such as the stone façade next to the steel exterior, making it a “very striking” introduction to the town, Davis says.

“We believe this provides the continuity of our image and experience we want our customers to have,” he says. “Further, it just says, ‘We’re a little different. We don’t look like the other banks in the community physically, and the experience inside is different as well.’”

Field & Main Bank has seen an increase in traffic at the redesigned centers due to the “overall aesthetic and enhanced customer interaction,” Davis says, as well as increases in core deposits and new account openings.

“Also, the consolidation of our bank, drive-through and ATM provide not only an economic benefit, but a significant improvement in our workflow and in internal communications,” Davis says.

“Our society yearns for points of connectivity. The traditional places where we connected with our neighbors years ago don’t exist in the way that they once did. We want Field & Main Bank to be the place where people come to make connections.”
—Scott P. Davis,
Field & Main Bank

“It’s a huge factor to have all of our team under one roof. It does not go unnoticed that the overall mood of our team has been heightened significantly as well.”

Field & Main Bank is now redesigning two more centers under the universal banker model and hopes to overhaul all of them in time. Its goal is to develop a warm, comfortable and useful environment for customers.

“Our society yearns for points of connectivity,” Davis says. “The traditional places where we connected with our neighbors years ago don’t exist in the way that they once did. We want Field & Main Bank to be the place where people come to make connections. Come enjoy a warm cup of coffee on our patio while you browse the news on your tablet.”

Katie Kuehner-Hebert is a writer in California.