How COVID is Accelerating Changes in Branch Banking

Adrenaline’s Gina Bleedorn, Chief Experience officer spotlighted in ABA Bank Marketing article on branch priorities in the wake of a global pandemic

Thursday, July 23, 2020 – As banks work through strategies for safe reopening post-COVID, they’re grappling with new demands inside the branch. In ABA Bank Marketing’s Has COVID-19 Killed Open-Concept Bank Spaces? article, three experts weigh in on what’s happening now and what comes next. Gina Bleedorn, CXO at Adrenaline, says, “[Y]our next branch will not be about more space; it will be about different utilization of space.” On banking’s shifting purpose, she says, “We are now really building centers for consultation and advice with continued emphasis on social distancing.”

Interestingly, the pandemic has brought back some channels previously written-off, with banks now using the drive-up window as a lifeline during the pandemic, as outlined in this Believe in Banking article. Gina addresses how the drive-up is being effectively leveraged, saying, “We need to recognize this behavior change and consider enhancing the drive-up experience with drive-in services like signing documents or coin and currency pickup.” In design, Gina is seeing a “bank version of curbside pick-up along with efficient remotely staffed ITMs as a bridge between digital and physical.”

None of the new physical parameters inside the branch can be carried out now without properly training frontline staff. Gina believes that “It’s important to remember that proxemics (space relative to one another) have changed for the first time in history,” so what will make customers comfortable will need to shift from pre-COVID operations. On meaningfully doing that, Gina says, “As you evaluate, think with empathy. Put yourself in the customers’ shoes. Make sure your staff is trained and prepared – not scared – creating a reassuring experience for customers.”

See the full article in ABA Bank Marketing for more perspectives on COVID’s impact on bank design. ABA Bank Marketing is part of the ABA Banking Journal, an award-winning publication providing fresh perspectives on banking’s critical business and policy challenges and trends. If you are a financial institution needing advice and expertise now, contact Adrenaline’s financial services experts at or call (678) 412-6903.

Adrenaline is an experience design agency that creates and implements end-to-end branded experiences through creative and environmental design. We enhance our clients’ customer experiences across digital and physical channels, from their branding and advertising to design and technology in their spaces. After transforming an organization’s brand, Adrenaline extends it across all touchpoints — from employees to the market to in-store environments. And, we focus on serving industries that sell human experiences including financial, healthcare, sports and entertainment.

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