mini branch

Blog: Small but Mighty — Mini Branches Make an Impact

September 12, 2022  |  CHRISTIAN KARGER

New construction methods, materials and designs make mini branches flexible and sustainable.
Whether rectangular or round, modular or made of concrete, with bright advertising panels or an insect hotel for a façade, featuring a consulting room or a viewing platform –mini branches are as individual as financial institutions: sustainable, cost-effective, and real eye-catchers for the branch network.

Nine out of ten mini branches are set up at a location where a branch has been closed. They maintain the bank’s local presence and ensure a local supply of cash, while keeping the brand present in people’s minds.

Comprehensive service from the specialists: site analysis and design workshop
The road to a mini branch should begin with a site analysis. There are several fundamental questions to consider. Are you building on a greenfield site, a parking lot, or on open space in an inner-city area? Is a lean solution with an outdoor ATM an option, or are you looking at a self-service branch with a lobby or a drive-up kiosk? Is planning permission required? Next, you need to establish which self-service devices are required. The number, type and service scope of these units are crucial factors before moving forward.

In the design workshop that follows, it’s time to focus on the specifics. It’s all about the desired mini branch model, its position on the site, the placement of advertising panels, doorways, windows, the color and materials of the façade, and, of course, the interior design. In recent years, Diebold Nixdorf’s architecture and interior design experts have repeatedly come up with new, modular and, notably, sustainable solutions.

Mini branches – solutions fit for the future
Rheingauer Volksbank, for example, has built a mini branch on the banks of the Rhine in Eltville. Inside, there’s space for two ATMs from the new DN Series™ family, and the brand message is displayed on the façade with customized foil coating. A UV finish prevents its colors from fading over time. At night, a surrounding LED strip under the offset parapet bathes the cube in light.

Sparkasse Rhein-Nahe is proud of its self-service branch in Waldböckelheim. Built on an elevated site on a main road next to a new retail park, the impressive 30m2 mini branch is visible from afar and has enough space to accommodate the full range of conventional self-service solutions: ATMs, cash recyclers, and a self-service terminal. There’s even space to install a telepresence system for video consulting going forward, ensuring that this location is equipped to meet the demands of the future.

mini branch
Reinforced concrete and recycled materials 

Mini branches are increasingly making the grade when it comes to sustainability, too. For example, second-hand shipping containers can be resurrected, refurbished and upgraded in a customized manufacturing process.

The latest generation of concrete mini branches is sustainable owing to its natural base materials of sand, water and gravel – and particularly so if recycled secondary raw materials are used. Concrete is durable, flexible in terms of design, and usable over several life cycles. If the exterior design is no longer fit for purpose, a new coating and polish can spruce things up.

Instead of a foundation, all that’s required is a sealed base 30 cm thick, which can also be made of recycled concrete. Once this base has been removed, the former site can easily be re-vegetated, so that a change of location and utilization is not a problem.

A multi-story solution with viewing platform

Whether round or angular, the reinforced concrete modules are so stable that several of them can be stacked on top of each other. This lends itself to creating tower-like structures on the smallest footprint. The ground floor offers space for ATMs solutions, while the first could house a consulting room, for instance, above which is a viewing platform or bistro. In an attractive setting, these multi-story solutions can even serve as a magnet for tourists.

Mini branches made of reinforced concrete also make the grade when it comes to energy conservation, as the material has excellent insulating properties. As a result, air conditioning is not essential for the interior, though it is available as a completive add-on. 
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Sophisticated security concept

All mini branches are highly blast resistant. To eliminate any risk to residents and adjacent buildings – even in the event of an attack using solid explosives – the unmanned branches are usually located on vacant lots at a safe distance from surrounding buildings. Cylindrical concrete pavilions with reinforced concrete walls up to 15 cmthick, for example, weigh in at a hefty ten tons; perpetrators of an explosives attack have yet to get away with the loot. Intelligent, predetermined breaking points deflect the force of an explosion in a targeted manner, thus mitigating the damage caused by the attack. An RC2 access door and stainless-steel grille protect the vault area. If an explosion forces the RC2 door outwards, the additional close-meshed stainless-steel grille inside the mini branch prevents unauthorized access to the safe and the cash deposits. This level of security has been deliberately chosen because the RC2 door can be replaced extremely cost-effectively in the event of damage.

Modeled on nature

With high-quality glass elements and a natural-stone floor, the interior is as well thought-out as the exterior design and the security concept. Here, too, the sustainability philosophy takes center stage. The “Green Line” range is a new addition to the Diebold Nixdorf mini branch family. Modeled on nature, it is inspired by the circular economy and based on the cradle-to-cradle principle. Its façade, which is made of nesting wood for wild bees, is eye-catching. The partition wall between the lobby and the vault area is made of climate-friendly organoids, natural materials having been compressed and turned into elements for embellishing wall surfaces. The roofs of “Green Line” pavilions can be vegetated or fitted with solar cells to make them almost self-sufficient in terms of energy.

The highly-sophisticated design of all mini branch models means that sustainability can be married to custom design and cost efficiency, all without compromising customer service. 

mini branch
Do you have a specific location in mind for your mini branch? As a rule, our standard models are up and running within two to three months – in 70% of cases, the self-service solutions are installed and set up on the same day as the pavilion itself.

Our team of experts will help you explore options and determine the best mini branch strategy for your organization. Learn more about our Mini Branch Implementation Services.