The grand opening of a new bank branch we attended last week proves it’s possible.

Similar to the illustration, the branch featured a wonderful, open-space “Universal Branch” design demonstrating the “branch of the future” we’ve written about, and the intersection of banking customer needs.

In fact, the new bank branch in the Cleveland suburb of Woodmere was more notable for what was missing than for what was there:  a bank counter and tellers. Instead, the more open, digital-hybrid branch is serviced by “universal associates” who come to the branch floor to provide direct, personal service to meet individual customer needs, rather than tellers who stand behind a counter (or a machine).

The new branch concept could be proof that two seemingly opposing facts can be true at the same time: bank customers can enjoy digital hands-off service anywhere, or more personal hands-on service inside the branch, depending on their needs. The challenge for the banking industry is finding the sweet spot where customer needs and bank capabilities meet.

Can you have it all with today’s universal bank branch?