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What Is a Mini-Branch?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 22 April 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Sometimes known as a convenience branch, a mini-branch is a branch location of a bank or other financial institution that offers a select range of services to customers. Unlike their full-service counterparts, branches of this type will focus on services that can be provided quickly and easily, such as taking deposits, allowing clients to withdraw funds from existing accounts, and purchasing money orders or teller checks. The main function of a mini-branch is to provide ready access to clients who need to make a quick transaction without the need to locate a full service branch located in a different part of town.

The range of services provided by a mini-branch tends to focus on the most basic of financial services. This allows customers to enjoy the range of services normally provided at a teller window at any standard bank or credit union. Along with deposits and withdrawals, services such as the purchase of money orders and cashier’s checks are often provided at a mini-branch. Other services, such as opening new accounts, obtaining assistance with reconciling account balances in check registers, or applying for various types of loans are rarely offered at this type of branch, but only at full-service locations.

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Placement of a mini-branch usually has to do with locating a site that is convenient for customers, but that would probably not merit the investment in a full-service branch. Placing a branch of this type in a mall or shopping center is often a viable approach. In addition, a mini-branch may be structured as a drive-through facility only, making it possible for customers to quickly make deposits or withdraw cash without leaving the vehicle.

The exact configuration of a mini-branch will vary, depending on the perceived needs in the general area. For example, a mini-branch placed within a neighborhood may or may not include an automatic teller machine, and will likely include a drive-through without access to a walk-in lobby. In some instances, the branch is nothing more than a kiosk that includes an ATM, with no options for interaction with bank personnel. Should the branch be located in a mall setting, the space will likely include a small waiting area and several teller windows, but not any space for discussions with bank officers. Considered a cost effective way to provide another level of convenience to customers and strengthen customer loyalty as a result, the concept of the mini-branch has become increasingly popular since the beginning of the 21st century, as financial institutions seek to remain accessible to customers without having to maintain the expenses of a full-service branch.

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