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Brief Published: 31 Jul 2013

ChaintiBanca Opens Café-Style Bank Branch


Italian banking chain ChaintiBanca has sought inspiration from the hospitality sector to create a more personalised experience at its new branch in Florence, Italy.

Upon entering the space, customers are personally greeted at a restaurant-style podium, from which they are then guided to a specific service area. A mix of coffee tables and chairs, and bar-style high tables with stools fill the open-plan front portion of the branch.

Many of the more common banking transactions can be carried out in this front-of-house area, as associates are equipped with tablets and seated alongside consumers at the tables, replacing the traditional teller line format. Partitioned seating booths located towards the back of the space are designated for more private, discreet transactions.

References to traditional Tuscan homes throughout the interior anchor the branch to its locality – for example, a suspended timber roof truss mimics the ceiling beams found in regional domestic architecture. According to its designers – Milan-based creative agency Crea International – the aim was to create a more informal, welcoming environment for customers.

ChaintiBanca’s approach demonstrates a wider shift in the way the banking industry is beginning to approach branding and branch design as a key way to restore consumer confidence. For more, see Personalising the Banking Experience and Reinventing Banks: The Battle to Win Back Trust. For more innovative branch interiors, see Banking Made Beautiful, Image Bank, Barwa Bank and Open Bank.

For more on the rise of hybrid retail venues merging commerce and hospitality, see Retailer-Restaurants. Café Culture charts how coffee shops are becoming key connectivity hubs for business and leisure alike around the world.