Reports & White Papers
- Type: Whitepaper
- Date: February 2019
If there is one market inexorably linked to audiovisual (AV) technology — particularly display technology — it would have to be the world of finance, which is all about numbers, values, prices, and how all of them change over time. Think back to the earliest electronic displays of stock ticker prices in the 1960s that eventually replaced mechanical stock tickers.
Finance is also about commercial and retail banking. Gone are the days of “banker’s hours” and austere bank lobbies with lots of stone, marble, and confined teller windows. As more transactions become paperless and automated customer interactions take on greater importance, the emphasis in bank interior design has shifted to a customer-friendly environment with lounges, refreshments, high-tech automatic teller machines, huddle spaces, and plenty of digital signage — much of it interactive.
Banks and investment firms have embraced the open office space movement with more new offices and corporate headquarters “going green,” implementing a variety of AV solutions to achieve an “eco-friendly” workspace. Similarly, these companies are adopting the latest in display technology, replacing more traditional two-piece projection solutions in darkened rooms with fine-pitch light-emitting diode (LED) displays that work under normal ambient light levels.
LED technology is also being used to engage with customers, providing oversized indoor and outdoor digital signage for retail bank branches to draw more business and advertise many financial services. These displays are often part of an interior design package to freshen up lobbies, serving a dual purpose to communicate and also function as dynamic artwork. In this way, banks are borrowing ideas from other retail sectors, using electronic displays to make largely abstract product offerings (loans, mortgages, etc.) more user-friendly and strengthen the bank’s brand identity.
Here are five ways financial institutions can use the latest AV technology in their offices and branches.
#1 Supplement Projectors with LED Walls
About eight years ago, financial institutions on Wall Street took the lead in switching from traditional two-piece display systems that used a projector and screen to a one-piece solution. The new display screens were large LCD monitors, based on large LCD televisions that were just coming to market. Prices of these oversized (70 inches and up) monitors had started to decline sufficiently so the total cost of a dual-monitor setup was actually less than a projector with motorized mount, screen, and interfacing electronics.
Another advantage of large flat-screen displays was the elimination of window shading systems. These screens were sufficiently bright to be viewed under normal room lighting supplemented by outside light. Single-screen systems soon evolved to dualscreen displays, with one display showing data, video, and graphics, and the other screen providing videoconferencing links. Now, the financial industry is taking another leap forward with LED walls.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is a nonprofit, long-term lending institution for the European Union, and the world’s largest multilateral borrower and lender by volume. Established more than 60 years ago, the EIB is the only bank owned by the European Union member states and provides finance and guidance for investment projects that support EU policy objectives. As a “policy-driven bank” whose shareholders are the member states of the EU, the EIB uses its financing operations to bring about European integration and social cohesion.
The EIB has been at the forefront of innovation in construction. In 2008, its headquarters in Luxembourg won first place in the Emilio Ambasz Prize for Green Architecture for International Buildings. The tubular glass building has been praised for its environmentally conscious and energy-efficient design as well as its office layout that promotes interaction and communication. This building also achieved a rating of “very good” under the UK’s Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM).
The EIB recently decided to upgrade the electronic displays in its meeting and board rooms, looking toward the future with finepitch LED technology. At its London office, 1.6mm-pitch videowalls were selected for strategic locations throughout the facility. These displays, built from tiles, deliver much higher resolution (approaching 4K) than those earlier LCD monitors, and the displays also offer higher brightness levels and deeper contrast. The emissive characteristics of LEDs produce saturated, bright colors and wide dynamic range, and the finer pitch is ideal for the display of detailed financial information.
#2 Build Larger-Than-Life Lobby and Window Displays
How does a retail bank go about promoting its products and services when there are no physical products or merchandise to show of f ? This has long been a challenge for bank branches, which have traditionally relied on large printed signs for promotions (interest rate offers home equity loans, car loans, mortgages, credit cards, and the like). And how do you attract new customers to a branch in a world chock full of digital signs, competing for everyone’s attention?
Large LCD TVs don’t always work anymore and are insufficiently bright to be noticed through a branch window. Videowalls made of tiled LCDs have been tried, but required quite a bit of space, wiring, and electrical power. While they were certainly large and eye-catching, the novelty quickly wore off and they were still challenged to provide images bright enough to stand out against outdoor ambient light. Now, LED displays are changing all of that.
Citibank, based in New York City, is a global leader in the multinational investment banking and financial services markets offering securities brokerage, wealth management, consumer banking and corporate investment banking.
Citibank also has long had a presence in Asia, opening its first office in Hong Kong in 1902 and establishing its Global Commercial Banking Division in 1999.
Given the heavy street traffic and a plethora of storefronts and electronic signs vying for the attention of passersby, Citibank Hong Kong’s Wheelock House branch in the Central District decided to go all-in with a unique 1.9mm fine-pitch LED video wall, the first 4K LED display installed in the district.
What makes this installation unique is that it is made of two sets of display arrays mounted back-to-back for viewing both on the street side and from inside the branch. The displays are continuously fed content consisting of news, weather, stock updates, product information and other consumer-interest features. The LED videowall was chosen for its finepitch clarity, wide viewing angles, high brightness, saturated colors, and 24/7 continuous operation — all key features for the heavy pedestrian traffic in the Central District.
#3 Incorporate Interactivity Into Bank Displays
As prices for display monitors with high resolution have plummeted since the first products came to market more than a decade ago. While these displays are primarily used for static displays, they can also play back live video. As new bank branches are constructed, large LCD displays are now an integral part of foyers and lobbies, with some providing touchscreen operation for self-guided inquiries and transactions. Again, the explosive growth of larger-than-life electronic display installations in retail stores means that banks have to keep up with both customer expectations and the competition.
Actinver is a leading investment advisory company in Mexico and one of the country’s fastest growing private banks. The company offers a broad spectrum of financial products and services, including private and commercial banking, asset and wealth management, and securities brokerage. With over 60 branches and a growing distribution across 23 states in Mexico, Actinver is strategically located throughout the country.
To support its growth, and as par t of a transition to an electronic median of advertising, Actinver i n late 2015 launched the first of three phases to install video display technology in all its bank branches. In the first phase, 70-inch interactive large-format Full HD LCD displays were installed in 12 bank branches in two cities. The second phase included the installation of more 70-inch LCD displays in an additional 13 bank branches across 10 cities.
In the third and final phase, 65-inch interactive, large-format LCD displays were integrated into 30 bank branches across 28 cities. The difference between these installations and conventional digital signage is that all these displays are interactive. Customers can use them to make inquiries about bank services and learn more about the ful l range of financial products offered. When not responding to inquiries, the displays play video clips and show special offers.
#4 Enhance Lobbies With Digital Artwork
Michigan First Credit Union, which began life as Detroit Teachers Credit Union, has had a presence in the state since the early 1920s. It was the first credit union in Michigan to install computers, the first to allow members to bank by phone, and among the first to offer wealth management, business and commercial lending, and mobile banking via smartphones.
With the November 2014 opening of its Eastpointe, Mich., branch, it introduced the retail store concept that embraced customer service using tablet technology, and the use of unique video wall technology to communicate with credit union members in new and different ways. Michigan First decided to install an architectural videowall to anchor the lobby area of its Eastpointe location, hoping to define this site as “a technology-driven branch of the future.”
The videowall is composed of a set of Full HD LCD display tiles of different sizes and shapes that create a unified display platform, but also one in which the display tiles are not physically connected to each other. An array of 14 LCD display tiles creates a rectangular visual effect, using 22-inch square tiles and 46-inch tiles, all oriented in a geometric pattern.
The resulting effect is eye-catching as the content, largely evocative of Michigan scenery, retains its look of singularity despite being shown on disconnected tiles. A Lake Michigan waterfront scene, for example, flows through a series of square and rectangular tiles where pieces of the total picture are precisely sized to fit the individual tiles on which they appear.
#5 Use AV Control Systems to Automate the Experience
There’s more to innovative AV designs than displays . Control systems have evolved into powerful, interactive architectures that respond to times of day, temperature, humidity, room occupancy,and a variety of other factors. Everything from interior and exterior lighting, sound reinforcement, HVAC systems, and window shading systems can be monitored and operated from any location, using nothing more than a tablet interface.Capital Bank Tower dominates the heart of Panama’s financial district like a shimmering stake in the ground, a bold marker for the future of office buildings in the city. Designed from the start to be smart in every sense of the word, the 23-story tower may not be the city’s tallest, but what it lacks in height it certainly makes up in elegance and ingenuity.
The basement and ground floor house the bank branch itself, while the rest of the tower features a multi-story car park, mezzanine, restaurant area, office space, VIP meeting rooms, and an auditorium. It is a showcase for sustainable construction, having been LEED certified. Fully automated centralized lighting maximizes energy efficiency and provides the right custom lighting for any scenario at the touch of a button. Similarly, meeting room windows can be shaded automatically or on command, to give people privacy or block out unwanted external light.
Training rooms, offices, and VIP meeting areas also offer automated video and audio technology. Each VIP meeting room features an outside pedestal that glows green if a room is free or red if it is occupied, and houses a touchscreen to manage use of the room. Keypads are also embedded into the tables to allow occupants to select the correct area ambiance at the touch of a button. Integrated audio allows for presentations to be easily shared with other meeting rooms.
Floor 12, which houses the auditorium and training rooms, is another part of the
tower where smart technology comes to the fore. Keypads in each area can control
collaborative, multi-touch video projectors with audio. A video matrix switch was also installed to share video between the auditorium and all training rooms in case the auditorium is fully occupied.