It can tough to get to the bank, especially when customers are located in rural areas that are remote from urban financial centers. Many rural areas lack access to quality banking and important financial services that the population needs. This is the case in rural South Africa where people face challenges in getting to banks and getting sound financial advice.
“Bank in a can” is an innovative solution that is now being used in South Africa. A product of a joint venture between South African FNB Bank and design firm Architecture for a Change, the pre-manufactured units are made from shipping containers and can be located in any rural (or urban) community. The nature of the pop-up units allow organizations to become operational quickly in less than three months. The new pop-up bank branches include teller windows, offices for opening accounts and applying for loans, along with separate ATM areas.
FNB is not the only bank to try pop-up locations. Canadian Tangerine Bank also has opened pop-up locations in shipping containers across Canada as a way to introduce customers to direct banking.
Reusing shipping containers are a clever way for companies to expand their reach into new area.
Group Activities and Discussion Questions:
- Discuss the importance of distribution for products and services.
- What are creative ways in which companies can expand their reach?
- Show photos of the pop-up banks:
Architecture for Change site (South Africa): http://www.a4ac.net/
Tangerine Bank (Canada): https://www.tangerine.ca/en/landing-page/mobilepopups/toronto/index.html
- Have students discuss how these solutions can expand a service’s reach and market access.
- Divide students into teams. Have each team select another service and work out how a pop-up site might benefit the service.