Aiming to bring a personal touch to banking in the digital age, a Capital One 360 branch, located in Back Bay, opened a café attachment to their bank to the public.
The café, which opened Tuesday, is located at 799 Boylston St. and offers customers the services of an online bank with the atmosphere of a coffeehouse. Boston is the ninth city in the country to have a bank-café combination.
“Boston is a vibrant, digitally savvy city with residents who embrace innovation and ingenuity,” said Jim Kelly, head of direct banking at Capital One in a Tuesday release. “The city is an ideal place for us to expand and build upon the success of our 360 Cafés.”
Capital One 360, a mobile and online bank, has been expanding to include a physical presence in communities around the country and offer personal, face-to-face interaction with customers, said Laura DiLello, a Capital One 360 spokesman.
“We know that it’s important to be physically connected to the communities and Customers that we serve,” she said. “At the Café, we offer a space where our Customers can recharge their bank accounts, their devices and their lives by learning new ways to save time and money, trying out our digital and financial tools, grabbing a great cup of coffee and getting to know our Associates and each other.”
All café customers have access to free Wi-Fi, an ATM, and the opportunity to meet associates who can offer advice and answer banking questions. The café also offers half-priced beverages for customers who use Capital One credit or debit cards.
Erica Brown, the senior director for food service and licensing at Peet’s Coffee and Tea, said their relationship with Capital One 360 in Back Bay is unlike any partnership they’ve had before.
At all other locations around the country, Capital One 360 associates double as baristas. The Boston location is the first to have trained Peet’s baristas create handcrafted beverages for the customers, she said.
“Customers are looking for great quality coffee and a personalized experience,” she said. “Being able to do that in Boston and expand our presence there is a great thing for the customer. This is really about having the whole barista experience to craft the quality of the beverage and that personal experience. I would say it’s an evolution.”
The Back Bay location is the first to open in the Boston area. Three more cafés are scheduled to debut by the end of the year in Downtown Crossing, Coolidge Corner and Harvard Square, DiLello said.
Several residents said the café is an important addition to the bank, and they are looking forward to seeing the café and bank combinations spread throughout Boston.
Chris Vanderlugt, 32, of Charlestown, said the ATM in the bank could be useful for café customers, but he isn’t sure if he would use the other bank services offered at the café.
“Whenever I need to go to a coffee shop, I usually need to get some money,” he said. “I don’t know what I’d be doing in there while drinking coffee, but it’s nice to know it’s also a coffee shop.”
Roger Beaulac, 55, of the North End, said he and his wife have used services similar to those offered by the Capital One 360 Café at a full bank and coffee shop in Montreal, where the couple is originally from, but he is skeptical of the bank’s other modern options, such as online banking.
“We’re in excess of 50 years old, so we still do things by hand,” Beaulac said.
Fabricio Paes, 30, of East Boston, said there are some cases, even when banking online, in which it is necessary to talk to an associate, and this new café will provide for that.
“There are definitely times when you need to talk to a person and I guess you can call on the phone, but it depends on how complicated the issue is,” he said. “If I want to make a deposit, then speed is more important. But if I have a problem with my account, then face-to-face contact is more important.”