Top Three Trends Banking Can Take from Hospitality

It has been said that good artists borrow, great artists steal. With that spirit in mind, we’re looking at some best practices from other people-oriented industries that can help banking up their experience quotient. But unlike some, we’re going to be sure to give credit where credit is due…

From good design to function-first tools, here are some new trends being employed by hotels to help put their stamp on this post-pandemic period. Implemented in the banking environment, these hospitality-inspired ideas can be repurposed for banks and credit unions to increase foot traffic and help make the community financial institution one of those beloved third places where people want to gather together.

1. Refreshed Business Centers

In a time when many are working from home, hotels are building (or enhancing) their business centers in order to cater to “bleisure” guests – professionals who travel to vacation destinations, work remotely during the day and enjoy recreation activities during nights and weekends. After several months of isolation at home, workers are hoping to find a change of pace by exploring new working-vacation environments.

What does this mean for banks?

Imagine if your branch had a cooperative workspace where community members would regularly visit to bask in the calm décor and take advantage of free Wifi, networking opportunities, and perhaps even a great cup of pour-over coffee? This would increase foot traffic, provide an opportunity to interact with potential customers, and help turn the branch into a potential “third place” – which is in itself an evolving concept as fewer offices serve as a “second place.”

2. Invest in More Personalization

Following the lead of Amazon and Netflix, many hotels now retain customized data from guests to anticipate future needs. For example, a hotel might fill the mini-fridge with sparkling water for guest who previously ordered that beverage during their last visit.

What does this mean for banks?

Since banks have lots of data about their customers and their finances at their fingertips, they should be creating custom offers to customers based on their needs. For example, if a customer has a large savings balance, a bank could select them for targeted advertising for an investment portfolio product. Not only do customers expect companies to offer services specifically for them, but they also appreciate knowing about products that will help improve their financial wellbeing.

3. Good Design

Hotels know that social media marketing is essential for staying in business these days. Even more, they know that guests – especially Gen Z and Millennial visitors – are eager to post photos of their travels on social media. As a result, many hotels set up indoor and outdoor common areas that are perfect places for Instagram photo ops.

Digital signage that spells out "wyndham"

Digital signage at Wyndham in Austin, Texas, featured in BuildCentral, 2019

What does this mean for banks?

Instead of imagining your customer taking a vacation or fun day photo at your bank branch, what if they took a lifetime milestone photo at your bank branch? For example, “…I just got a loan to start my business,” or “…I just got a mortgage to buy a house.” Maybe there will be photos snapped inside the coworking space or customers may just want to show off their hometown pride. Suffice it to say that customers are more likely to tag your bank in a social media post if you provide (and encourage) post-worthy places.

Vintage audio installation at Wyndham in Austin, Texas, featured in BuildCentral, 2019

To learn more about best practices in branch banking and delivering brand experiences in financial services, email