Last week I visited Capital One’s #BankingReimagined tour here in Seattle (it’s visiting other locations too, you can check it out here). I had a blast, playing with technology which helped me think about my values FIRST and then integrate money into them.
I also Facebook Live-d the experience so you can actually see me experiment with all of the techy parts of the tour. Aside from all of the fun I had playing with the technology, my personal takeaway is that I value balance in life…but that I am not taking it for myself (UH-OH!). At the end of the tour, you get to record your message to your future self and Capital One will send it to you, so you can hold yourself accountable.
The thought I keep coming back to, however, is something my friend said about her experience…in one part of the #BankingReimagined experience, you’re choosing between two things to decide which you value more – for example, Stable Financial Future or Awesome Vacation. My friend mentioned that she felt totally on track with her choices until the choice of Stable Financial Future or Pet popped up…and an adorable picture of a Corgi. She said all of here sense screamed PUPPY!!! And she couldn’t see anything else. I totally get that.
I think this is the choice we all face, between our sensible, planned financial decisions and our emotions-based, spontaneous desires. Now, I personally think there is room for Stable Financial Future AND Pet (and I am not even sure if I am getting the choice or exercise correct here…), and part of our ongoing work is to know ourselves well enough that we can bring that balance to our financial lives…but the discussion with my friend reminded us that lots of people are just one spontaneous financial decision away from disaster.
That’s another reason I love how the Capital One #BankingReimagined tour is putting down ROOTS in the cities it is visiting. In fact, I spoke with Ryan Laudenbach, Capital One’s West Region market lead, who will be helping to provide ongoing support for people in the form of Capital One Cafés …exactly in the locations the #BankingReimagined tour has been and is going. Here’s a little of what Ryan and I discussed:
Why don’t you fill us in – I have a lot of background information on just the Banking Reimagined Tour, but why don’t you describe then the cafés that are coming and that whole experience?
Ryan: Sure. So, I think what you went through here with this experience is just a small taste of what you can actually get in our physical space and cafés. You know, the whole idea is for us to try to connect within the communities that we reside in, and do it in a way that’s very different as well as a comfortable experience. So when you hear that “reimagined banking,” we like to say, “Hey, it’s an opportunity to recharge just, you know, whatever is important to you from your own financial perspective.” So within the café you’ll find that environment, digital tools that are available to help you learn more, coffee that we serve through partnership with Peet’s for the past 15 years.
Ryan: Whether it’s morning, afternoon, or evening coffee, and at the end of the day just have a conversation if you want with one of our ambassadors.
Who do you find is taking advantage of the cafés where they are already established?
Ryan: You know, we’re not really targeting a specific demographic. We just want people to understand that our cafés are open, obviously, for anyone who has curiosity or just simply wants to learn more about how they can help themselves financially. So we will find it’s people who live in the area who make it their daily stop for coffee, and that’s great. We’ll also find it’s people who have questions, whether it’s if they have a Capital One product or not, and we’re there to just kind of support and help that conversation right along.
Sounds like the cafés would be a super place to stop in and grab your regular coffee and hang out, but also then there’s gonna be ongoing things, like the events and resources. So what are the kinds of things that a person can take advantage of in addition to a Banking Reimagined experience?
Ryan: So me personally, I’m very proud about the commitment that we have to our community, so I think what’s really important for people to know is that we have available space for the community to use. If you’re a nonprofit organization, you can come in. We have meeting space that’s free of charge, which is hard to find in a lot of cases, and we’ll build relationships that way. In addition, we also have semi-private areas that we call nooks. Allows for people to come in and have more of an intimate conversation if they want one, just so that they’re out of the general population. We’ll do things like workshops, and people will get the opportunity to work closely with a money coach. What does that mean? So we, within the workshops, we’re able to provide like a broader training and information around things as simple as managing a budget or making your finances grow, you know, do the best what’s for you. Anything credit related.
But sometimes those conversations will go to the step of, you know, I would really love to learn a little bit more what I can do for myself, which is also what this kind of provides people, and that’s where the money coach will come into play, and that is a complimentary service that we’ll offer as well. So people can take advantage up to three sessions that will, in over the course of those three sessions, it’s just little miniature workshops in themselves. It’s nothing specific where we, they would dive into anyone’s financials, but it’s more about just understanding what’s important to them and helping them achieve goals that they’ve set for themselves.
What else should I know or would be useful for me to know as a person coming to this experience or having gone through this experience?
Ryan: You know, I think at the end of the day it’s just getting people to understand that managing your own finances isn’t hard, and there are tools, there are resources out there to help people do that. We want people to know that we actually have things in our café that we can help them with. So from a digital perspective, which is obviously what’s happening in today’s world, we have things that allow people to be interactive with that and, again, learn more about how they can help themselves financially.
Ryan: From anything from financial literacy through different things to help people learn more about different products, or even different strategies that we can support them with. CreditWise is a great example of that that is something that we offer whether you’re a Capital One customer or not, but it allows people to learn more about how to use their credit wisely and actually use it to their advantage and build a strong financial background with that. So I would love for people to know that we have – if you have questions or you want to learn more, we have that opportunity for you, and by all means come in and get your cup of coffee, use free Wi-Fi, whatever it may be, and just sit down and have a relaxing time.
Could you talk about the café demo bar and interactive screens?
Ryan: I was going into the digital thing with those demo bars, and that’s where you can have more of that side-by-side conversation with one of our ambassadors. We actually encourage people to do it themselves, and that’s what our ambassadors do. They guide you and that’s part of the learning process is say this isn’t that tough. You can do this. And so with the demo bars and the interactive screens like we have up there in our cafés, that allows people to physically do it themselves, and then they walk away feeling good about it.
Anything to go with that Peet’s Coffee?
Ryan: Fuji Bakery cookies! We buy local in the market we’re in.We have 16 cafés, by the way. We utilize local, you know, small businesses as well through pastries, things of that nature, as part of our commitment back to the community itself, too.
Ryan, thanks so much for taking the time to fill me in on the upcoming experience!
And, thank you Capital One for sponsoring this post! This is a paid endorsement. All opinions are my own and were not directed by Capital One. To learn more about Capital One, visit www.capitalone.com/cafes OR www.capitalone.com/bankingreimagined
Special thanks to Kelly Mason for her awesome pictures of the event! You can see more of Kelly’s amazing photography here.