BMO Leverages Matterport’s Digital Twins to Streamline Acquisition Work and Ongoing Branch Projects Across Hundreds of Locations

“With the acquisition of Bank of the West, we realized we needed a tool to replace multiple branch visits, so we engaged Matterport, and within a few months we had virtual access to every branch.  We initially intended using digital twins to assist with the rebranding initiative; however, as word got out about Matterport, other departments that needed information about the branches were able to use the tool instead of on-site visits.” – Lisa Near, Bank of the West (BOTW) Program Manager, North American Physical Channels, BMO


  • Saved over $500,000 in 15 months in reduced travel and site visits

  • Recouped 6,000 hours of required survey work

  • Successfully rebranded 503 BOTW branches 

  • Saw demand grow across departmental teams for access to the digital twin platform

  • Centralized a repository of all BOTW assets in one place on the Matterport platform

Watch the on-demand webinar to see it in action

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BMO is a leading North American bank driven by a single purpose: to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life. With 13 million customers, and the eighth largest bank in North America by assets, innovatively sustaining the company’s physical infrastructure is more important than ever in its 207-year history. 

In early 2022, BMO began the acquisition of 503 branches from BOTW. Each location required rebranding as part of BMO’s plan to introduce the brand to new markets. Using Matterport’s digital twin platform reduced the number of site visits allowing the branches to focus on serving customers and being present in their community during the transition.

The Physical Channels team that’s responsible for this type of work coordinates closely with teams in Corporate Real Estate and Technology, to ensure the multi-year roadmap of branch projects brings the branch network up to standard with brand, modern design and furnishings, signage, digital marketing, ATMs, and other technology that supports the branch team.

Previously, they relied on multiple on-site visits to each location to scope the design and technology updates required. Critical documentation like floor plans was often missing, creating an early design hurdle. Typically, architects would be hired to travel to the location and manually measure, sketch, then digitally draft out the floor plan, with turnaround times in weeks or even months before initial design work could commence. 

Of particular focus, BOTW used a distinct green brand color, so every location had to be assessed for rebranding needs to the interior. While cost savings was a goal, time and resource efficiency were paramount to ensure the properties reflected the BMO brand by the time the back-end systems were converted from BOTW to BMO all while not disrupting customer service.

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Having dabbled with lesser virtual tour products previously, BMO turned to Matterport for an end-to-end solution that could scale; it offered enterprise-grade security, an elegant interface, a network of 700+ Capture Service technicians globally, design file exports, and unmatched 3D visual fidelity that the stakeholders needed.

Lisa Near, Senior Manager of Process Improvement at BMO, shared, “With the BOTW acquisition, we had a hard deadline. By engaging Matterport to scan the BOTW branches, at a low cost, we were able to save time and resources by eliminating multiple branch visits by various teams and vendors.”

The BMO team configured a set of tiered design packages to assign for each location. Some branches needed a full overhaul of interior branding and others only required modest changes like a green wall being painted blue. 

Lisa explains, “The design manager would actually often have Matterport up, so that if we were looking at a proposed branch design and the architect put a digital screen on one wall, but we didn't like the placement, we would all go look in Matterport together and make an immediate decision of, no, we don't want it here, we want it over there.”

The technology team also critically needed to determine equipment and network dependencies, such as an audit of all BOTW server rooms, phone hardware, and computer stations. Instead of sending somebody out to the site to do a survey, they could do it in Matterport. “There were instances where you could zoom in close enough and get an asset tag, which is just mind blowing,” added Lisa. 

BMO leveraged Matterport’s design file exports to create the full complement of assets in a fraction of the existing timeline. BOTW did not have floor plans for each branch, but BMO was able to purchase one directly through their Matterport account for any branch they scanned. In instances when the commercial landlords didn’t have CAD files, they can now get those from Matterport as well. Lisa said, “We could send an architect out and draw it, but why not just send Matterport and get a scan, floor plan and CAD file? We put in the Capture Services request and within a week, Matterport went out and scanned and uploaded it. We requested the floor plan file, and two days later we're moving. Had we done it the traditional way, it could take as long as a month.”

Each branch was scanned twice, once to capture existing conditions, and the other post-rebrand. While initially thinking they would only be able to fund one scan for each BOTW branch, they learned that for their budget, they could do each branch before and after, with enough left over to also scan the legacy BMO branches.  The affordability spurred a scope expansion, bringing the project acceleration from Matterport digital twins across the entire U.S. branch portfolio. Lisa said, “I think that surprised everybody.”

The benefits of accessing a site’s full physical context remotely as a team, at any time, was enormously impactful to the project’s success and supported BMO’s corporate sustainability initiatives. All 500+ BOTW locations were captured within a span of three months. The team reduced scheduling and travel time, along with the number of disruptive branch visits, which eliminated repeated travel emissions across the BOTW footprint. 

“Word quickly got out about this fantastic 360-degree tool that we had, and I am telling you people have come out of the woodwork,” Lisa emphasized.

Using digital twins in place of multi-person site visits, BMO has recouped roughly 6,000 hours of survey time across 503 locations, roughly 12 hours per branch. BMO takes on over 50 new branch projects each year, so the Matterport end-to-end solution value that saves them time, money and carbon emissions will continue to be significant. 


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