Peter Thompson Discusses the Future of Banking
Who are imageHOLDERS?
imageHOLDERS are a design company specialising in the production of iPad kiosks and tablet enclosure systems. We can essentially enclose any device that you may need, from an iPad through to a cheque scanner. Our approach is to be universal with our compatibility with devices and tablets. However we don’t do software; we work with customers or partners who develop the software and can recommend partners for our customers to work with.
Our expertise with kiosk solutions combines ergonomics, security and aesthetics to create a solution that is fit for purpose for each individual customer. We are creating a whole range of very tailorable solutions.
We’ve had a lot of interest in the banking and financial sector, who are looking at new ways for their customers to be able to interact. They’re trying to bring the online experience in branch, so the reason we’ve come to this show (Self-Service Banking Europe) is to support some of our customers who we’re working with and in conjunction with our partnership with Check Print.
We’re working on several projects with Check Print to integrate tablet based and cheque scanning solutions that will allow customers to simply pop in to a branch and deposit a cheque very quickly and easily without having to queue up at the counter. This is a very good example of the way that we can integrate different types of technology easily and create solutions that the banks need. So hopefully we’ll get a chance to explain some of those ideas to some of the visitors here today.
How can imageHOLDERS afford to be so flexible?
We are design led, and we’ve developed a very modular system which allows us to be agile. For example, we can take a standard kiosk concept or solution and we can tailor the kiosk to enclose anything from an iPad of 10 inches up to a 22inch touch screen. That same kiosk could also hold a variety of different devices.
A customer might require an A4 statement printer, and we could combine that with a cheque scanner or a card input device. Essentially it’s any combination of devices that a solution requires, and our products are designed in such a way that it’s easy for us to integrate these different solutions, we don’t have to it’s not reinventing the wheel each time. It’s simply a different configuration of the same product, but it can be branded and styled to be on brand and to match the aesthetics of the branch that it’s going into. We might finish the top in an oak effect to match the oak effect furniture within the rest of the branch or we may add some instructional branding as a call to action so customers can come in and know exactly what that kiosk is for. It’s these customisations that really help the customer experience and aid in a successful deployment of tablet kiosks.
Often branch setups can differ within a single company. Do you cater to this too?
Absolutely, not a problem. It all starts with sitting down and talking to the customer, ideally the end user, and figuring out what they are trying to achieve. We need to understand the aim of the project and we can then turn this into a brief, and then put together a family or suite of products, a mini range if you like, that is specific to that particular customer. Different branches may have different spaces or requirements and they could say well I’ll have two of them and one of that one to best suit their branch. We try to standardise a specific solution for each customer and across a mini range. That approach works really well actually because one style certainly doesn’t fit all so, but we can be very flexible around that.
We’ve seen bank branches closing their doors across the world recently. Is this going to continue?
I think that the “in-branch” experience is going to change dramatically. Gone are the days of having to queue up on a Friday afternoon to deposit your wages, it’s more about sitting down in an interactive environment and having the choice about how you may want to do your banking. So that may be a simple iPad enclosure mounted onto a sofa, or might be a cheque deposit kiosk. Customers want choice, they expect it, and often that’s going to be through digital means so where possible we can help with that.
imageHOLDERS are here to disrupt the traditional structure, and by using technology to create loyal customers, businesses can ensure that the expectations of their customers are surpassed with superior experience and service.