Movable micro-branch offers location flexibility

Though the term “mobile branch” likely calls to mind a bank’s smartphone app, Minneapolis-based Vanman Architects puts a new spin on the term with its movable “micro-branch.”

The micro-branch is a “somewhat mobile” banking unit designed for high-traffic sites, such as the parking lot of a grocery or big-box store. It can be quickly assembled and fixed to helical piers (foundation screws), decreasing both construction time and cost. “The micro-branch is designed to bring a bank’s brand to high visibility areas,” said Adam Holmes, CEO. 

The 125-square-foot micro-branch features a drive-up lane equipped with an Interactive Teller Machine, an equipment room, and a secured office space equiped with ITM technology. The beauty of the micro-branch, explains Holmes, is that it “allows people to park and walk inside.” 

Each micro-branch “office” contains a desk space where people can spread out papers while they talk to a banker on a video screen. “It’s about taking the bank to the customer,” Holmes said. Vanman is manufacturing customizable micro-branches now and will begin installing them this spring.

“Everything is secure and if [bankers] find the facility isn’t meeting traffic expectations, they can move it to a more favorable location,” Holmes said. “This allows banks the ability to get into a location without the typical bricks-and-mortar investment. If the location doesn’t work, there isn’t much involved in moving it to a new location.”

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