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ING Direct Café San Francisco: Adding Hospitality to Banking Services

Yesterday, I visited the ING Direct Café located at the corner of Post St and Kearny St in San Francisco. ING Direct Café is an innovative banking concept, currently available in major cities like New York City, Chicago, Toronto, Las Angeles, and San Francisco. So, what makes this bank so special? 

  • There is big open space in this two-story “bank,” with free WiFi and many electronic outlets.
  • Instead of counters or desks for tellers or bankers, ING puts a nice café that sells coffee, tea, and snacks to customers.
  • The only ATM in the bank is “hiding” somewhere behind the stairs.
  • There are professional bankers in the store, providing banking services if needed --- promoting the services offered by the bank and helping customers navigate the bank’s online banking systems.
  • There are multi-purposed functional rooms in the basement. Customers can use the space with reservations. 

I like this concept. With more customers are using online and mobile services, companies need to come up with innovative business models for day-to-day operations. By adding hospitality services to a traditional bank, ING Direct Café creates a welcoming and cozy atmosphere for customers, promoting B2C (business-to-consumer) and C2C (consumer-to-consumer) relationship. Hopefully (and I believe that), business opportunities will come along while customers are enjoying the hospitality services provided. 

I can see that hospitality management, as an emerging discipline, will play a more important role in business in general. What do you think?

Click the link to the Album of ING Direct Café in San Francisco for more pictures and LIKE my Facebook Page

Comments

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  2. After reading this post, I really don’t think this layout will help the bank gain business. I know I am a person of convenience, I like doing all my banking online, I like going to atm quick then going out, I don’t want to spend more time at the bank if I don’t have to. However, in some aspects this is a smart idea because people may not realize that this place is a bank, and go in to just get a cup of coffee or a place to just meet friends, this will generate more revue in in the café aspect and eventually maybe get new customers to go to this bank.

    -Samantha Dana

    ReplyDelete
  3. Does the ATM machine dispense USD dollars after you enter your PIN number?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Is it real question? I assume it would as it is in San Francisco. Personally, I don't have any ING accounts. So, I never used the services in ING, but I would use the ING Cafe (if not the bank) if I live in San Francisco.

      Delete
    2. No, I was just pulling your leg for saying "ATM machine." It's redundant. (You're actually saying "Automatic Teller Machine machine.") "PIN number" (Personal Identification Number number) and "USD dollars" (United States Dollars dollars) are similarly redundant. That was the joke.

      Just a bit of good-natured kidding.

      Delete
    3. Did you actually mean B2C and C2C? I cannot PIN (***), USD (***), or "Automatic Teller Machine" anywhere on this page except on your comment.

      Delete
    4. "The only ATM machine in the bank is “hiding” somewhere behind the stairs."

      Saying "ATM machine" is incorrect, and it was just a little joke about that. I am sorry if you're offended or confused.

      Delete
    5. Thank you. I made the changes.

      Delete

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