Following The Pack - Drive-through Banking
June 24, 2015

Growing up in Australia, I never once encounted a bank with drive-through service.

We had banks with parking in front;

A suburban bank branch in Prospect, South Australia with parking in front.

We had urban banks;

A bank branch along the main street of the town of Gawler, South Australia.

We had banks inside malls;

A bank branch inside of a shopping centre in Noarlunga, South Australia.

..but I have never once seen a bank with a drive-through in Australia, and life went on as conveniently as ever. Nobody complained. That is why it surprises me how virtually every single bank I have seen in America has a drive-through.

A typical suburban bank branch with a drive-through in Conway, Arkansas.

Banks even have drive-throughs in places where no other business would be allowed;

A bank branch downtown that has retrofitted a historical building with a drive-through in Conway, Arkansas.

A new bank branch in a new urban development in Conway, Arkansas. I know the developer and I highly doubt he would have given any other type of business this special treatment.

I am trying to appreciate the little things in life; to take pleasure in my everyday activities than to rush through them. If I am visiting a business I like to go inside and enjoy the change of scenery. I certainly do not want to be sitting in my car at the bank with my window down for 10 minutes - letting the Arkansas heat or cold in - while they process my money order. Life is too short for that misery. I would rather just walk into an airconditioned building and sit on their comfortable sofas while I wait. The positive thing about going into an American bank is that everyone else takes the drive-through, so I have never had to queue!

There is no good reason why a bank really needs a drive-through - especially in an urban setting like downtown Conway. If you wanted drive-through banking - why would you drive downtown to do so, and not visit a suburban branch? I guess most people would choose their bank over their interest rates, account features, and branch locations rather than if it had a drive-through or not. Or, at least I did. I feel that the only reason American banks insist of having a drive-through is because that is just what banks do here.

Australia is just as much of a car-commuting, single-family-home-owning country, and our banks do alright. Do not let a bank, or any business for that matter bully you into thinking they need a drive-through. If you have a vision of a great place - go ahead and just build it.