The coronavirus pandemic is impacting the retail banking industry in unprecedented ways, creating fear around transaction environments and a need for increased safety protocols. Protective modifications will now be required in branches for the foreseeable future. Solidus has developed a COVID-19 Branch Safety Kit that can be applied to any branch environment, regardless of layout or size. This article explains each piece of the kit, and why it is necessary. (NOTE: More items are being added soon)
- Acrylic Safety Shields.
- Social Distancing Floor Decals.
- Hand Sanitizer Stands.
- Safe Environment Statement Banner.
- Acrylic Safety Shields
Acrylic safety shields provide a level of assurance in the branch beyond that of face masks alone. Face-to-face transactions between branch staff and clients are a potential vector, and safety shields should be installed at all teller lines, pods and desktops where people interact. These would ideally be custom made to fit any type of staffing station or desktop (see below).
Acrylic shields generally take two forms; drop-through for teller lines (L), and pod or desktop models (R). They can be installed without modifications to millwork and feature durable BumponTM fitted non-slip feet.
Safety shields can be positioned on teller lines, hybrid teller lines, pods, or desktops. The shields usually take one of two forms: the drop-through or desktop. Drop-through type shields are cut to fit between the risers and extend to about four inches above the deal tray. The four-inch gap allows transactions to occur. Desktop-type shields can be placed on flat pod surfaces or desktops, with a cut-out at the bottom center through which transactions can occur.
- Social Distancing Floor Decals
CDC guidelines state that people should limit their exposure to coronavirus by remaining six feet apart when inside retail environments. Floor decals help maintain social distancing when placed at six-foot intervals where clients will stand in line at teller stations or ATMs/VTMs. Generic decals bearing directions for social distancing can be purchased, or they can be branded with the organization’s logo. Floor decals can be produced to adhere to either carpeted or hard floors. NOTE: carpet decals should never be applied to hard floors. They are designed for carpet adhesion and are extremely difficult to remove from hard, smooth surfaces.
NOTE: Floor decals are designed for either hard or carpeted floors.
Never stick a carpet decal to a smooth/hard floor; the adhesive is designed for uneven and fibrous carpet surfaces and forms a much stronger bond. It will be extremely difficult to remove, if not impossible.
Decal life is 3 to 6 months. Be sure to double or triple the required quantities for 1 year’s supply.
- Hand Sanitizing Stands
CDC guidelines advise that frequent handwashing with soap and water is the most effective way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 infection. If soap and water are not available, it is recommended that a minimum 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer is used. Banks and credit unions have been providing hand sanitizer in small bottles for some time, but we will now see strategically positioned sanitizer stands in branches. These stands will be placed next to pods and teller lines, ATMs, check desks, and other areas where interaction with branch staff and technology occur. Stands may be generic in nature or contain branded placards bearing community-focused messaging from the financial institution to its clients. Sanitizer dispensers can be easily attached to the stands and regularly restocked with new cartridges.
Post-COVID-19 branch design will include safety features such as hand sanitizing stations. Stands positioned in key locations inside branches will likely be a commonplace (and reassuring) sight for the foreseeable future. Sanitizer stands can be purchased with a placard bearing a generic message, or custom-branded with the financial institution’s own message and colors.
- Safe Environment Statement Banner
Safety statements perform an important communications function in retail banking environments, informing your staff and clients you care about them. They can also serve an informational or educational purpose. The banner is mounted on a stand, branded in any style or color, and can be positioned in a wide variety of locations inside the branch. These include high-trafficked areas next to entrances, teller lines, pods, and ATMs.
The branded safe environment banner has a weighted stand for maximum stability and can be easily deployed in seconds. The printed area is 34”x90” allowing a diverse range of possibilities for custom branding.