Bank Cafes May Boost Your Mood — If Not Your Balance

Banks, traditionally, are all about the bucks. Now, though, you may be as likely to stop in to visit your local banker as you do your favorite barista.

Cup of coffee at coffee shop

Banks, traditionally, are all about the bucks. You go there to make a deposit, make a withdrawal or deal with some other money-related business. Most of the time, you’re just dropping in for a quick transaction at the ATM. Now, though, you may be as likely to stop in to visit your local banker as you do your favorite barista.

Yep, increasingly, banks are getting into the coffee game. Capital One, for instance, has opened Capital One 360 Cafés, which it insists are “not your average coffeehouse,” in Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, St. Cloud, Minn., Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

The goal is to provide a “community space” where people can soak in financial advice as they sip their lattes and enjoy free Wi-Fi. Capitol One’s bank-with-coffee-shop presence in New York is expanding with a new branch, featuring Peet’s Coffee and iPad-sporting mobile tellers, set to open in Union Square and soon, perhaps, another in SoHo, Crain’s New York Business reports.

The new cafe components are part of a growing movement among banks to bring in foot traffic and connect customers with financial services as well as creatively and productively use underutilized space. A Capitol One spokeswoman told The Boston Globe the firm saw its bank cafes as “community hubs.” Other banks are offering yoga classes, Oktoberfest celebrations, “ financial spas” and Apple Store-like amenities. First Citizens Bank in Columbia, S.C., also transformed itself into a cafe-bank hybrid offering fresh-brewed locally roasted coffee and pastries supplied by a restaurant nearby.

Photo courtesy of iStock

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