The digital branch: new concept of the major Swiss bank UBS

UBS, with its rich tradition, has a network of around 270 locations in Switzerland. To respond to changing client needs, UBS is focusing on expanding its digital offerings while maintaining its regional presence. The objective of the new concept is to intensify client proximity in combination with digital offerings. As part of a pilot phase, an initial ten branches were opened in Switzerland under the new concept.

Project details

Task & solution

The central idea with which we were able to convince the bank in a multi-stage pitch was derived from the bank’s key competitive advantage: In each branch, access to UBS’s global expertise and digital services is to be optimized. The result is an overall concept consisting of interior design and layout, state-of-the-art technology and communication, coupled with personal proximity to the client.

The spatial structure and thus the customer experience in the branch follow the basic idea developed and the Customer Journey derived from it. The client is guided through the branch structure and can discover the world of UBS. In the future, UBS clients will experience the branch as a holistic communication area with personal proximity. Newly designed modules will make it possible to experience financial products with a high infotainment character and clear comprehensibility. In addition, the client will learn interesting facts about sponsorships and the bank’s social and cultural commitment.

Instead of a classic counter, customers will in future meet bank employees at an open advisory table. With the help of tablets, the employee can carry out banking transactions or explain e-banking to the customer. Consultations with the UBS employee take place either in one of the consulting rooms or in an area discreetly separated by glass. If more intensive advice is required, video conferences can also be used to draw on the expertise of specialists. The new room concept also allows the branch to be used for events beyond the traditional banking business and outside business hours – e.g. exhibitions, lectures, and events. In designing the branches, we consistently focused on a bright and modern premium ambiance with high-quality materials.

All communication and information transfer in the new branch is consistently digital, without neglecting human proximity. The central element of space and communication is the newly interpreted “asset pyramid”. The special feature here is that the pyramid is linked by a tablet to an augmented reality application and thus brought to life digitally. The pyramid illustrates the consulting process playfully and shows the different stages of wealth creation in an interactive and involving way. Syndicate worked together with Publicis as the responsible communication agency for the development of the content. The support and implementation of the entire digital customer journey according to the concept we developed were carried out with the digital experts from Infected Hamburg.

“With Syndicate Design we have found an ideal partner who develops and implements suitable solutions for our demand for a new and clear omni-channel strategy. Beyond the technical know-how, we have got to know a team in the last few months that, in addition to high professionalism and dedication, also fits very well to us as a person. We have thus experienced a high level of mutual esteem”. (Andr├ę Silla, Head of Branch- & Advisory Transformation at UBS Switzerland)

Range of services

  • store strategy
  • guiding principle
  • branch design
  • lighting design
  • store Communications
  • augmented reality
  • screen design
  • design & value engineering
  • sampling
  • system manual
  • production consulting

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