Why bank when you can lounge?
Virgin Money continues to reinvent and enrich the banking experience for customers by opening its sixth Virgin Money Lounge on Haymarket, London SW1. The new Lounge designed by London based design consultancy allen international, opened its doors on Monday 10 August.
Virgin Money Lounges are unique in UK banking. They are designed to be interesting, stimulating and, above all, comfortable places where customers and local communities can come together. Lounge visitors can choose to put their feet up and enjoy the facilities, use the Lounge for an informal meeting… and if a customer decides they want to undertake some personal banking, that choice is available too.
Only a short-walk from Piccadilly Circus, the new Haymarket Lounge takes the Virgin Money customer experience to a whole new level. The entrance level offers customers the chance to ‘lounge’, watch TV, or browse through a range of Virgin Money information on a huge interactive touch screen display. It also offers full banking facilities to customers in a strikingly designed banking area.
When customers descend to lower ground, they may forget they’re in a bank altogether and expect to be asked to take their seats for take off. Given Virgin’s history in aviation, the lower floor has been designed in the style of the interior of an airliner with real airliner seats, overhead lockers and floor lighting to guide the way. The generously-spaced seats can be arranged in cinema style to face a big screen, or easily swivelled to face each other for informal meetings. The aircraft theme extends to a children’s playroom, which is equipped with a range of traditional and interactive games to keep the young ones entertained.
In addition to the traditional banking facilities, the Haymarket Lounge plans to use technology to enable customers to hold real-time video conferences with specialist advisers in other Virgin Money locations – including sessions to enable an advised mortgage application to be completed as well as lifestyle financial reviews.
Jayne-Anne Gadhia, Virgin Money’s Chief Executive said: “Our Lounges offer a perfect example of how we are different to other UK banks and how committed we are to delivering a unique and brilliant service to our customers.”
The new Haymarket Lounge is the sixth to be opened in the UK, following the Lounges in Edinburgh, London, Manchester, Norwich and Glasgow. All Virgin Money Lounges offer free refreshments and snacks, use of iPads, free wi-fi access, televisions to catch up on the latest news, daily newspapers and facilities to help keep children entertained.
Richard Benson, allen international’s Innovation Director said: “It has always been our ambition at allen international to create a lounge experience within the banking sector that is accessible and brand focused. Virgin Money have once again made this possible with their foresight and vision to launch an experience that challenges traditional preconceptions of the relationship between bank and customer.”
Access to Lounges is available for all Virgin Money customers, and membership is free. As part of Virgin Money’s ambition to make ‘everyone better off’, Lounges are also available on request for use by the local community for events, charity meetings and fundraising activities.
Michael Allen, allen international’s Founder & Group CEO said, “Once again Virgin Money leads the way with innovation. It’s a joy to work with a bank that has a vision of the future which is not tied down to traditional thinking in this time of new technology and the omni-channel experience.”