Co-creation event about "bank branches of the future"

This event is now finished, but saving the post for your reference - see below for some details of what happened

If you are a logged-in member of the community, you gave you the first chance to sign up to this, but we would like to open up the last few places to those who may have missed it, or maybe only read the community but have yet to join (there are a surprising number).


Join us for a day of co-creation, conversation and fun. We are running this event to help to create something really new and useful for the High Street, but we need YOUR input.

Read on for further details and the incentives for participation…

Bank branches in the high streets: it’s time for a re-think!

Up and down the UK, bank branches have been closing, leaving high streets, businesses and residents reeling. Yet, a large number of us still rely on bank branches. Replacing a bank with an app is simply not an option for everyone, as nearly 50% of people say that they do not use any apps to manage their finances (source: YouGov).

At Dozens, we don’t think all of banking problems are going to be solved digitally. Real world innovation is just as important. We put customers at the centre of everything we do, so we’re inviting you to invent the future of bank branches together. We can’t do this without you.

Event Details:

Date: 12 July, 10am – 4pm
Place: Paddington Arts, 32 Woodfield Road, London, W9 2BE, UK

We need you to be present for the whole session until 4pm but we guarantee that you will enjoy yourself and that it will be worth your time.

We want to find out:

  • What is important to you when it comes to a bank branch, as a consumer? Or as a Small Business
  • When do you prefer to walk into a bank branch and talk to someone, and when are you comfortable solving matters yourself?
  • Which other services or skills could the bank supply to you and your business?
  • What could the bank branch look and feel like in the future?

Our team will get to know you and together we will create a prototype for the bank branch of the future!

What’s in it for you?

  • You will meet a diverse range of people who have all come together to make banking better.
  • You will learn how a fintech startup develops new products and services.
  • You will get to influence the design of the future bank branch.
  • You will receive £50 in cash in exchange for your time and ideas (£100 cash if you come from outside London).
  • You will be entered into a prize draw to win an iPad (if you are a small business owner) or an Apple watch (if you are a consumer)

The product and customer leads will be there and are excited to hear your stories!


Why in Harrow Road?

Harrow Road in the London Borough of Westminster is a struggling high street. It has been ranked the third worst in the country by economic performance, and the worst in London. The last bank branch on Harrow Road closed down a while back.

Dozens has teamed up with Westminster City Council to explore what the future of high streets could mean in the context of financial services. We are moving into a space for a month to engage with residents and businesses around money, high streets, and the role of financial services.

Would you like to see what our previous co-creation days looked like?

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Does this means dozens opened a branch?
If so, why, what for, when and where will you open more…

If not, what exactly is that “first physical presence on the high street”?

Thanks @AC

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Dozens partners with Westminster City Council for Future High Streets - Dozens

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great spot @raul - (thanks for sharing the link @ColinR)

as with everything in the world of fintech, things move FASTTTTTTT :rocket: around here so even since that post there have been some slight changes.

First, no, we have not opened a “branch” of Dozens. We HAVE secured a physical space on a high street so we can start to explore what a future “branch” might look like and to answer questions like

  • what would happen in there?
  • what space would be needed and where should it be located?
  • what skills might be required?
  • how would we get people to come in?

there are still lots of questions, but we are working on getting some first-hand experience by talking to customers in such a space on Harrow Road.

In fact, the space we have eventually taken is not the one we had planned to use - that was unavailable for some building works that need to be completed, so instead we have moved into an even more central space just off the market space so we can even have a stall to get out into the community more. We will share some pictures shortly (after we’ve done a little bit of tidying) but the address is:

2 Fernhead Rd, Maida Hill, London W9 3ET

Yesterday we ran a co-creation workshop in the same area of Harrow Road. It was very similar to one that we ran with customers when we launched Dozens itself, so that we could get feedback from those who will actually use the service. This is something that is fundamental to the way we do things.

If you are based in London, do pop by and say hello so we can chat about what you think about what a “branch of the future” might look like.


Thanks @ColinR and @robert

It would be interesting to know how the feedback you received last week is similar/differs from Virgin and Santander’s attempts to redefine the branch experience.

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Thanks for sharing these

Yes, we did discuss some things along these lines as one possible way to go.

The key features covered here are:

  • open lounge, including family area
  • refreshments
  • free services (e.g. wifi, co-working space, etc)
  • collaboration (?)

The question remains, do they address the fundamental problems of:
a) why branches are closing (Santander is closing existing branches, why would opening a café work for them instead? How is this any cheaper for them?)
b) why people would want to visit a “lounge”?

I think Virgin is doing something interesting with the events in the Lounges, but there still seems to be a disconnect between the over-designed (and expensive) nature of a “lounge” and the needs of remote high streets, rural communities and financially excluded individuals.

The business hub angle is interesting, but then they are competing with “specialists” like WeWork and many others, so it may attract certain businesses but will any of it be regular enough to create actual ‘collaboration’? It is already hard enough to achieve this at co-working spaces that target specific industries or types of business.

I’m not saying we have the answer yet either, but we would like to think more widely than just comfy seats and free coffee / wifi and how financial inclusion links to community development. However, we’ll certainly keep an eye on what others are doing to help customers, of course and always welcome your suggestions or experiences


One thing with branches is join forces with say a building society and co habit the building and offer free tea and coffee for people who are members some could also be a post office aswell as having a hub for community space and events and maybe offering space for pop up shops in the space but the idea is get the right products on sale and the right get people through the door

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I use virgin money lounge in Edinburgh every time I go to Edinburgh free tea and coffee it’s not the biggest lounge but I enjoy going and it can be busy though joining with the Clydesdale bank and Yorkshire bank will make virgin money different but hopefully will stay true to the original virgin money idea of making every one better off

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