Fawzia Sarwar

Redesigning the member experience

New branch design includes innovative design and technology features.

August 21, 2019

With more than 30 years of experience in the financial industry, Fawzia Sarwar has done just about everything.

In 1986, she began her career with $2.7 billion asset Technology Credit Union in San Jose, Calif., as a teller. Today, Sarwar is senior vice president of retail banking, where she manages the credit union’s branches, business development, retail training, retail support services, and mortgage and indirect lending.

She especially enjoys letting loose her creative designer side.

With Sarwar’s help, the credit union began the process of optimizing its branches—updating their look and feel to more effectively serve members.

The result was a highly successful launch of a new branch design that includes multiple innovative interior design, merchandising, and technology features including:

  • Interactive touch screens, with videos and easy-to-navigate product and service screens that teach members about personal finance.
  • A “Wow Wall” (four large flat screens that together display a single rotating image) that highlights additional information about the credit union.
  • Video conferencing with financial experts called “Tech LiveConnect.”
  • A one-of-a-kind mural of the credit union’s history, as well as an interactive touch-screen timeline of its history and founding by Silicon Valley leaders.
  • A “Discovery Table” with tablets and iPads members use to learn about personal finance and explore the credit union’s website.
  • Hoteling stations and conference rooms where members can hold meetings or plug in their laptops and work.
  • A floor plan that facilitates quick transactions and one-on-one interaction.

Sarwar also eliminated teller lines. Tellers now are “relationship bankers” who provide inviting and comfortable desk-side service for members.

Relationship bankers can perform all services from start to finish. Other financial institutions are following this trend, implementing similar strategies that reimagine universal banker functions and branch designs.

Sarwar strives to make a difference every day she comes to work. She wants her teams to be “open, flexible, and forward-thinking” in finding new ways to meet or exceed member expectations.

“We are experiencing rapid growth and have expanded our field of membership from six to 15 counties in the past six months,” she says. “We are also working on a new digital transformation initiative that will enhance both the member and employee experience. This is an exciting time to work for Technology Credit Union.”

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