99.8% of the financial services world calls the physical dinosaurs that populate the real world “branches.” There’s .1% that refers to them as “cafes” (ING Direct) and .1% that calls them “stores” (Wells Fargo).
Banks and credit unions are missing a huge opportunity here. Namely, to transform those legacy physical structures into financial “spas.”
You know, the place where you go to get into “financial shape”. Kinda gives new meaning to the term “loan workout”, no?
Seriously though (OK, not too seriously), instead of trying to get people to hang out and drink coffee, if banks transformed their branches into spas, while women were getting their mani/pedis, they could be having meaningful conversations with financial reps about their financial lives.
Open an account (or maintain a certain balance, number of accounts, etc., you get the picture), get the manicure for free.
Think I’m being sexist? Screw that, everybody knows it’s women making the financial decisions in an incredibly high percentage of households. It’s certainly no more sexist than slapping some pink colors on something and calling it “marketing to women” (and you know that there are banks and other types of companies that do that).
You don’t think this idea will fly, do you? That’s OK. Because cafes and high-tech, self-service gizmos aren’t the “branches of the future” either.