With so much focus on digital channels, it’s easy for physical locations to be pushed to the back burner as credit unions address more pressing priorities. It’s interesting, then, that a digital-first bank like Capital One is continuing to open Café style branches to connect with new customers and deepen relationships with existing ones.

Here you can see one of their recent grand openings just last month in Washington, DC. Capital One describes their cafe as “an inviting place to get your banking done while enjoying Peet’s® beverages and free Wi-Fi.” You don’t have to be a customer, but cardholders enjoy a 50% discount on coffee according to the website.

Even the Capital One branches near me, that don’t include coffee shops, are clearly focused on providing experiences. Recent free events at my closest location included: Talk Money with Your Honey, Spend Smarter: How to Get More for Your Money, and Get Organized & Get Happy.

These types of money management workshops are exactly the type of financial education that credit unions have been providing for decades through workplace seminars, one-on-one consultations, and other community events.

While more consumers are using digital channels than ever before, many are still hungry for trustworthy financial advice and education. Are your branches set-up to provide the information members need in a welcoming and relaxed environment? 

Many credit unions are continuing to transform their own branch infrastructure from transaction hubs to more consultative, relationship-building centers. But it’s not all about pods and interactive teller machines, it’s about creating a warm, welcoming and technology-forward environment throughout the entire branch. That includes branch merchandising. What are your branches communicating to current and potential members? If you’re not sure, it may be time for a retail refresh.

Need a hand? Kearley & Company is just a phone call, email or text away. We’ve helped credit unions and other businesses nationwide with their branch environments. Let us know how we can help you ensure your retail environment is ready for the new year.


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