Capital One Cafe is arriving in Tampa, while the financial corporation continues its efforts to win millennial clients with a coffee shop and a bank that does not have ATMs.
Attracting young customers
With smartphone apps that handle money transfers, rent payments and financial planning, traditional banks are still trying to attract younger customers who may be wary of them after the 2008 financial crisis. Experts say that the coffees of Capital One are just one of the ways that big banks are trying to stay relevant in the era of financial technology, or “fintech”.
“There are two specific things that we are beginning to see,” said Sridhar Sundaram, dean of the business school at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. “The emergence of technology and mobile platforms for payments and the second, more businesses that are made in Starbucks and coffee shops … few people enter traditional banks”.
Capital One Cafe announced that it will move to Hyde Park Village, the outdoor shopping center in South Tampa, at 755 S Village Circle. Capital One did not release an opening date, but said it would be this year. The location will have a Peet’s Coffee shop, sell bakery products and have open seating available to everyone, even those without a Capital One account.
The Capital One coffees began to grow in 2017 in cities such as San Francisco, Seattle, Denver and Chicago. Tampa’s location will be the first of its kind in Central Florida. The four existing locations in Florida are toward the southern part of the state and the cafes are in 13 total markets. Those market places tend to serve areas with concentrations of rich millennials and Gen-Xers.
The chance to reinvent
“At Capital One, we are reinventing banking to be a simple and direct experience designed for you,” said market executive Mike Friedman in a statement. “As a digital bank that has a great design to improve the customer experience. We’ve wanted to build a presence in Tampa for some time”.
Capital One coffees are more brown than banks. There are meeting rooms, corners and free wifi. Individual money and group money training workshops are available for financial planning. The rows of tablets and screens have interactive digital tools with financial lessons. A side area with ATMs is called “DIY banking”.
Traditionally, banks were places that people visited to do things that they can now manage from smartphones.
“Now, we stop at banks to explore”, said Huijian Dong, professor of finance at USF St. Pete. “It is no longer a center based on need, but a center based on aid”.
That change has created an opportunity for banks to assume mentor roles, Dong said, instead of existing only as lenders. This has led large banks to invest more in artificial intelligence (think of the “Erica”, the Bank of America digital financial assistant) and applications that help manage student loans.
All large financial corporations are discovering the best way to apply fintech so that they do not lose customers completely with new businesses and mobile technologies.
Capital One is only serving its technology with a café con leche and a muffin on the side.