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The 6 coolest trends in modern banking

Today's bank doesn't look a whole lot like yesterday's bank. From smart technology to online and mobile banking, how consumers interact with their financial institutions is more revolving door than teller wall.

This constant motion in the industry has led to some exciting, interesting innovations. For bank brands, the goal is now how to capitalize on these trends and ensure consumers keep coming back for more. 

But which changes are getting the most traction? To find out, take a look at this list of the six coolest trends in modern banking:

"Innovation labs let banks experiment with new ideas."

1. Innovation labs
All those creative branch redesigns, smart technologies and seamless mobile tools have to come from somewhere. That "somewhere" is usually an innovation lab, a technique employed by a number of major banking institutions across the country. These labs are where designers can test out their new ideas on employees and consumers alike. Labs are often futuristic, over-the-top centers full of toys and gadgets, all in the hopes that something sticks and can make it into bank branches all over. 

2. Faster queues
Standing in line is one of the worst parts of the bank experience. That is no more, however, thanks to a cool trend known as the digital queue management system. One popular option, QMatic, lets bank customers join a digital queue before they arrive at the branch, or even book appointments ahead of time. This technology can remove long lines at the branch and increase customer satisfaction. Not to mention, it is simply cool to queue up in line before you ever set foot in the branch itself.

3. Interactive tools
Gone are the days of standing around waiting to be helped. Banks are now providing a number of interactive tools for consumers, and this is one cool trend in the industry. Some options include free use of tablets, computers and the Internet. One step farther is the interactive wall, a massive touch screen where consumers can click around industry news and events while they wait to be served.

From tablets to touch walls, banks are offering a wide range of interactive tools.From tablets to touch walls, banks are offering a wide range of interactive tools.

4. The teller kiosk
One of the least cool parts of any bank is the teller wall. This is why so many branches are doing away with the idea, in favor of a much cooler teller kiosk. Kiosks are self-contained pods where tellers can perform a wide range of functions for the consumer. Where the cool factor really kicks in is with the options kiosks afford in the way of a branch redesign. Without being bogged down by the wall, banks can get creative with their design and really change the look and feel of their branches.

5. Multiple services
Another cool way banks are looking toward the future is with multiple services. Once, banks were only there for banking. Today, banks are also offering up coffee shops and restaurants as a new approach, so consumers can grab a cup of joe while they make a deposit. The branch design here is focused on the coffee shop, not the bank, so it doesn't look like your average branch. This ups the cool factor, and creates a novel, exciting experience for consumers.

6. Smart technology
Technology can do a lot to improve the consumer experience. One of the coolest trends around today is interactive gesture technology. This smart bit of design senses when a person walks through the door, sounding a greeting and bringing up an interactive screen where the consumer can check out the branch's products and services. Thanks to this technology, a bank's customers will have a user experience that is hard to find elsewhere.