Case Study

BREAKING THE MYSTIQUE: Pelican State Credit Union

Project Details


Pelican State Credit Union


Rolling out Teller Pods with TCRs


5 out of 14 branches


Pelican’s newer branch models are based on an open retail atmosphere with cash recyclers. They do use a more linear pod style to imply a barrier or teller line rather than round pods. Tellers are not universal bankers in these branches so there is still an entry level position within the branch. Originally the concept held a concierge / greeter position, but it is not being used that way anymore.


The ideal teller count per branch is 4 tellers which share the lobby and drive through traffic. In addition to tellers, each branch typically has a manager, 2-3 MSRs (depending on traffic), a hoteling office for credit counselors, and a branch specialist. Pelican has higher call volumes and branch visits per member than their peers, so the branch design and functionality has to follow suit.


Our members expect high service levels with personal relationships with branch staff. This is why we have about 75% walk in versus 25% drive through traffic.

Our member demographics are focused on unsecured and auto loans. We provide a lot of financial education for our members and as community outreach and most of our products are geared toward underserved “high-touch” members.


Typically transactions are 25 / 75 distribution between drive thru and lobby with many more walk ins than Pelican’s competitors.


  • Round pods can be confusing (where to approach, where to stand, etc.) but linear pods are more intuitive because it recalls back to traditional teller lines.
  • Sound privacy is an issue with open branches. We’ve begun to use semi-enclosed offices for MSRs instead of furniture partitions and have started implementing different types of sound masking.
  • If tellers are sharing drive through duties, the drive through has to be visible to all teller stations.
  • The “tech bar” is not used much and potentially unneeded.
  • When the new concept first started several members called with concerns for their tellers due to the openness. While TCRs are extremely secure, it was interesting to see how our members were concerned for tellers that they had established relationships with. Guards may be necessary to help members and staff feel secure in the open layouts if it continues to be a concern.
  • Initially it took about a year to get comfortable in the new model for members and tellers, but subsequent branches were able to train in existing teller pod style branches so that adjustment period has been greatly reduced.

Project Details