ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2017 - 35

(Peet's employees) are responsible for the drinks.
Cardholders get a significant discount off their purchase,
wifi is free, the baked goods are locally sourced and the
community vibe is strong. Meeting rooms can be reserved,
no-fee video-teller ATMs line a section of the space
and communal tables balance human interaction with
digital conveniences.
At its core, the Capital One Café experience brings
traditional banking practices like financial advising and
community education to new markets-traditional personto-person interaction with a touch of convenience. "This
goes back to creating an experience that fits naturally into
our customer's lives," says Capital One spokeswoman
Stacy Jones. Workshops on topics like talking about
finances with your partner, building your savings or how
to check your credit report are held in the café. "Our
overall goal is to educate visitors and create engagement,"
she says.

'Banking brewed locally'
For HomeTown Bank in Redwood Falls, Minn., the impetus
for opening an in-branch café was introducing the bank to
new customers. The bank's Waconia, Minn., branch shares
its lobby with local coffee brand Mocha Monkey.
VP and branch manager Michael Orth saw an opportunity
when an empty space at a prime intersection became
available. Geographically, the building was an ideal site
for a new location, but the space was actually too large,
he says. "It was about four times the size of our other
branches, so what to do with the space was part of the
puzzle we needed to put together," says Orth. The goal
for the new branch was to show HomeTown's culture of
people-first. "That's when [the firm] said it sounded a lot
like a coffee shop,'" says Orth.
Waconia was also a totally new market for HomeTown.
"We came into a town where we had no presence and no
clients, but we had this wildly popular coffee shop that
had a huge local following," says Orth. "And that brought
so many people through our doors in an otherwise really
difficult industry to get people to walk in and check out a
brand new bank."
HomeTown's CEO, Dean Toft, has said that the café model
will be incorporated into future expansion plans, Orth
notes. The Waconia branch is now four years old and
has become the $264 million, nine-branch bank's largest
branch in terms of total loans. "Based on the success
we've had in Waconia, we'd make it a priority to do it
this way again, especially with an expansion into a new

market," says Orth. "We just have a constant flow of people
here today and it's really amazing to sit from my office and
watch people hanging out in a bank. That's something I'm
not sure I thought I'd ever see."

Lessons learned
Café culture doesn't work for every financial institution. The
insurer MassMutual, for example, last year closed its muchtouted Society of Grownups storefront concept targeted at
millennials. The hip space functioned as a clubhouse for
wine tastings, cooking classes and other social events where
younger members could also meet with financial advisers
before MassMutual abruptly shut it down, with a spokesman
saying "digital channels" were a better way to engage the
target audience.
And bankers that have succeeded with the café model
have some ideas for best practices, too. For example,
Richwood Bank decided not to do any formal marketing for
its coffee shop, but customers saw the remodeling process
firsthand. The branch never closed during construction.
"As a result, we didn't necessarily get met with positive
responses," says Chad Hoffman. "[The community] couldn't
wrap their minds around what we were trying to do, and
we couldn't really show it to them." While customers
embraced the space once it came to fruition, Hoffman says
that formally promoting the concept would have eased the
transition pains.

A CAFÉ AMBASSADOR HELPS A CUSTOMER
AT A CAPITAL ONE CAFÉ LOCATION.

"We told the board we wouldn't approach a second location
until we could prove the results of the flagship, and we were
able to do that," he says. In the flagship's first two years in
operation, the bank has seen a 15 percent increase in lobby
traffic. "The community space also introduces the bank to
the younger generation," adds Wirtz. Loans have grown,
and the bank has opened more deposit accounts than in
previous years.
KERRY O'LEARY is a senior writer for the ABA Banking Journal.
aba.com/BankingJournal | ABA BANKING JOURNAL

35


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2017

Chairman’s View
Upfront
Legal Briefs
Economic Outlook
Power Up Profile
Pitching In
Choices and Options Down on the Farm
Eager or Not, Every Board Needs an M&A Strategy
Adapting to Survive
More Than Just a Drink
Operations
Payments
Small Business Lending
Human Resources
ABA Compliance Center Inbox
From the States
Corporate Social Responsibility
Index of Advertisers
From the Vault
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2017 - Intro
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2017 - ebelly1
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2017 - ebelly2
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2017 - cover1
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2017 - cover2
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2017 - 3
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2017 - 4
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2017 - 5
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2017 - 6
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2017 - 7
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2017 - Chairman’s View
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2017 - 9
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2017 - Upfront
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2017 - 11
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2017 - 12
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2017 - 13
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2017 - 14
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2017 - 15
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2017 - Legal Briefs
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2017 - 17
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2017 - Economic Outlook
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2017 - Power Up Profile
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2017 - Pitching In
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2017 - 21
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2017 - 22
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2017 - 23
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2017 - 24
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2017 - 25
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2017 - Choices and Options Down on the Farm
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2017 - 27
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2017 - Eager or Not, Every Board Needs an M&A Strategy
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2017 - 29
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2017 - Adapting to Survive
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2017 - 31
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2017 - 32
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2017 - 33
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2017 - More Than Just a Drink
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2017 - 35
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2017 - Operations
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2017 - 37
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2017 - Payments
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2017 - 39
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2017 - Small Business Lending
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2017 - 41
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2017 - Human Resources
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2017 - 43
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2017 - 44
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2017 - ABA Compliance Center Inbox
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2017 - From the States
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2017 - 47
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2017 - Corporate Social Responsibility
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2017 - Index of Advertisers
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2017 - From the Vault
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2017 - cover3
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2017 - cover4
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