Say goodbye to teller lines, drive-thrus, and bankers behind desks. A slow growing trend on the east coast will tell you that kind of banking is out of touch with high tech consumers.
Ascend Federal Credit Union in Nashville, TN feels more like a GAP than a bank when you first walk in. A greeter at the front desk can help direct you to the person you need or they can sell you an Ascend T-shirt or coffee mug.
Even the most loyal customer, one who even likes a bank’s logo, might wonder why they want to give money to the bank for a coffee mug. Well Ascend uses all the money sold from their merchandise to help charities. After learning that you might take two cups!
With floor to ceiling windows and all the bankers sharing the same identical offices this bank feels like the customer’s building where everyone is on even footing.
In other areas the retail trend takes a different shape. Instead of looking like a GAP your next bank could look and smell like a Starbucks! But you will get out a lot cheaper as the banks are giving away the coffee and scones in exchange for your business. These latte looking lounges also have computer terminals where one can check their on-line banking or pay bills on-line.
Banks like any other business are always evolving to try to attract new customers as well as be the best they can be for their existing clients. Will this new trend fit that bill? I think if you see this new retail style of banking in your neighborhood the answer is yes.