Retail

Banks Bring Coffee Shops To New Branches

coffee shop

With the bank branch of the future, large institutions such as Capital One and Fifth Third are aiming to create spaces that appeal to millennials around Chicago that provide technical support, financial advice and — in some instances — cappuccino. The moves come as branches that were busy are shuttering and classic traffic has fallen as transactions move to the web, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Kronos Senior Retail Banking Consultant Kevin Steele said, according to the report, “The teller line will disappear over the next few years and all transactions will become self-serve.” Fifth Third Bank, for instance, intends to bring a flagship branch that is “next generation” to the Willis Tower. The space is said to sport a “transaction bar” with meeting nooks and comfortable couches as well as bankers with tablets.

By the same token, Capital One has brought three Capital One Cafes in Chicago. “Ambassadors” have taken the place of tellers, and transactions reportedly only happen through automated teller machines (ATMs). At the same time, the bank features a Peet’s Coffee that is full-service along complimentary Wi-Fi.

In other brick-and-mortar banking innovation news, HSBC Group unit HSBC Bank USA announced the launch of Pepper, the humanoid robot it developed with SoftBank Robotics America, at the end of May. HSBC said at the time that Pepper is being deployed in a Miami retail branch marking the first time Pepper has been deployed in a retail bank in Florida.

Pablo Sanchez, who is the head of retail banking and wealth management for HSBC in the U.S. and Canada, said in the press release, “Our customers in South Florida will have a chance to experience an entirely new way of banking thanks to Pepper. It’s an exciting next step for us as we continue to expand the number of branches that have these capabilities.”

Pepper debuted at HSBC’s flagship branch in New York City. It has continued to be rolled out and is now available in Seattle as well as Beverly Hills.

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