What if your bank branch were to become a space where you could pass the time – a kind of ‘third space’ in your life? An experiment to this effect has been conducted in the United States.

Café ambience making for a gentler bank customer experience ?

Down to the bank or over to the café? What if you no longer had to choose? This appears to be the intention of US bank Capital One. Ten years ago, Capital One opened its first café, dispensing hot drinks, cakes, and so on – the sort of thing you might find at Starbucks. Plus, there were a few banking touches – an ATM and a Capital One employee.

Ten years on, society as a whole, banks included, has largely shifted to digital technology, and the café concept has evolved into a cross between a bank branch and a co-working space.

Customers can still order their cup of coffee and make use of the WiFi connection. Capital One’s new idea though is to turn it into a collaborative space as well. The bank offers its customers and the co-working space occupants the option of booking spaces for meetings. Presentations, not too dissimilar to the famous TED talks, are also held there, the aim being to foster the local tech community and attract enthusiasts to the space.

At each Capital One café there is of course a team of banking advisors ready to help. All in all, an interesting initiative designed to embed the bank in the urban setting in a rather different way.



By Lila Meghraoua
Journaliste/Productrice radio