Geld, Banken, Volksbanken und Sparkassen

Volksbank and Sparkasse cooperate, a role model for trade and POS respectively?

Is the banking scene exceptionally a role model for retail and POS management?

In an article by the CIO.de, it is reported that the Volkssparkasse concept is working. An exciting initiative, I think. Are Volksbank and Sparkasse therefore a role model for cooperation in customer loyalty? In any case, it is worth taking a closer look. Many other banks are also taking a closer look, as the two bosses of the “Volksparkasse” report.

A big leap back into history: Deutsche Bank …

… started thinking many years ago: How can I make the branch business more attractive again? Among other things, the result is a concept branch in Berlin, the q110. This branch in Friedrichstraße in Berlin was the model for an absolutely innovative branch concept.

Not only banking transactions were carried out there. You could also read and buy books, buy fashion accessories, bags, etc. or comfortably consume coffee, tea and cake. At the very beginning, the banking products were housed in small metal boxes, so that the customer had the feeling that he was not buying a dull banking product that could not be seen or attacked.

In the meantime, “q110 – the Deutsche Bank of the Future” has been renamed “Quartier Zukunft” and is pursuing a somewhat changed goal. But in my opinion, it doesn’t matter. I still find that very exciting. Anyone who knows me knows that I like to “hack around” on banks. This concept, on the other hand, inspired me. There was courage, inventiveness and perseverance involved. Everything you need for innovations that will prevail.

“The announcement in autumn caused a stir:

Will Germany’s first “Volks-Sparkasse” become a panacea for an industry that on the one hand has to reduce costs, but on the other hand also wants to remain present with customers in the countryside? One year after the presentation of their nationwide unique nationwide branch cooperation, Frankfurter Volksbank and Taunus Sparkasse draw a positive interim balance.

“Our customers understand and appreciate the joint effort to maintain an attractive regional infrastructure,” said Eva Wunsch-Weber, CEO of Germany’s second-largest Volksbank, on request. That’s how you can read it in the CIO.de.

Volksbank and Sparkasse Role model for cooperation in customer loyalty?

Yes, that could be good. Not only for the banks and savings banks, but also for the trade. Because everyone wants to go with their products and services in the area. But it is not worth opening a POS or shop in every corner of the republic. The renaissance of mom-and-pop shops or the village shops also shows this. People like to shop locally and not everyone is a Savings Bank customer, but also Volksbank or other banks have their justification.

Hence the repeated question: Are Volksbank and Sparkasse a role model for cooperation in customer loyalty?

Yes, because there are already many shop-in-shop concepts. Whether the brand shops at Breuninger, the bakers or Tchibo shop-in-shop concepts at Rewe or Edeka. Sparkasse Göppingen has small consulting islands in larger retail stores.

In principle, this is nothing new. Why shouldn’t banking transactions of a savings bank also be carried out and processed in a Volksbank and vice versa? Answer to the question: Yes, Volksbank and Sparkasse are a role model for cooperation in customer loyalty.

First experiences are very positive

The “counterpart of the Taunus Sparkasse, Oliver Klink, added: “Of course, the customers first had to adjust to the new opening hours. But the appreciation for the regional proximity prevails.” However, the joint branches called “financial points” only work “where there is otherwise a vital and intact infrastructure,” said Klink.

26 financial points are planned. This should be completed by the end of the year, one year earlier than planned.

At first, many people think of saving costs. However, the two heads of the Volkssparkasse emphasize: We are not reducing staff. We just use it differently.

In this respect, I am surprised by the statement about the changed opening hours. Because one idea would be exactly that you can offer the two customer groups the maximum opening hours. But well, that can still come (at the customer’s request).

Another exciting question: How does “mutual” advice work?

Almost like at the Munich football stadium, the Allianz Arena. “In the “financial points” with staff, the partners share the opening hours. Depending on which consultant is currently present, the branch is illuminated in blue (Volksbank) or red (Sparkasse).”

That, in turn, surprises me now. I had hoped that no matter when you come, you can always count on advice. At least with a minimal consultation. So here it is still a little stuck.

Will Corona shake up the concept? No.

“When asked whether the restructuring of our own branch network must now be more radical after the experiences of the corona crisis, Wunsch-Weber replied: “Of course, our customers have also increasingly contacted us digitally or by telephone in recent weeks. But we have also learned that the local presence is still a very important point of reference and anchor for our customers.”

And now, what does this mean for customer loyalty and customer experience?

Not only big data and data driven ensure customer loyalty. Martin Nitsche’s contribution shows the future. The topic of branch is another topic that has remained unresolved for a long time. Perhaps this is now a basis for getting closer to the customer. Or to put it another way: the banks are not quite as far away from the customer. The perceived closeness remains.

 

Note: This is a machine translation. It is neither 100% complete nor 100% correct. We can therefore not guarantee the result.

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