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The Power of Lingering

The more time I spend trying to challenge the ways a community bank might work, the more time I spend looking at what other industries are doing for sources of inspiration.

In their current lens and operating model, banks are often seen as transaction centers. A place you go to get something done: deposit money, withdraw money along with several other things. "I need to move my money around. Help me." This on its face is a bit like a doctor's office. You go to a doctor's office most often when something is wrong. "I feel pain/discomfort. Help me resolve it". And in either of these cases, the quicker you can resolve these things so I can get out of here, the better.

But last week I came across something that showed me something is in flux in the world of health care. Kaiser Permanente, a large provider of care, and notorious early-adopter was discussing their new health hubs, "represent a total overhaul of the patient experience, from the check-in process to the aesthetics of the waiting area to the way doctors and nurses interact with members and one another... In larger facilities, the reception area will be reimagined as a kind of public square, where patients can wander while they wait, getting free information on nutrition and exercise from staff at a counter called the Thrive Bar. "

This public square description certainly warranted a long pause on my part. While banks aren't often a destination that draws out excitement when its time to visit, I can't think of a place that people likely want to spend less time in than a health clinic of sorts. And that was when their CEO, Bernard Tyson, hit me with something powerful, "The culture of health care has been to get you in and out. We’re inviting you to linger."

Imagine for a moment that a doctor's office wasn't a place you were drug to and fled from but rather a place that you were drawn to and didn't mind hanging out for a bit. What if it was about more than fixing the immediate issue at hand? What if it was about thinking more holistically about your physical and psychological wellbeing. About helping you reach and maintain a better healthier you.

[Back to banking]

What if a bank was more like a public square? What if you felt a curiosity drawing you to it? What if you were kind of excited to hear what people were talking about...

  • "I read this great article on travelling to China and got introduced to a travel blogger who told me how to do it on the cheap. I think I'm going to be able to pull it off for less than half of what my friend did a couple years back!"

  • "My significant other and I finally know how to talk about money together! Here's what we're planning this year....."

  • "I felt like I was on an island hoping to manage my student loans, pay rent, and still have a bit of money to put towards fun and savings. Being able to sit with a couple of my peers and learn from them made it feel so much less daunting."

What if the future of finance was about creating a safe by playful space around setting goals for and achieving the lifestyle you want? I don't know about you but that is a bank where I would linger.

Source: Fast Company

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