Bank Combines Internet Cafe Features

A street-widening project gave a local bank an opportunity to rework itself. What emerged is something totally different.

Umpqua Bank, Moana & South Virginia

RENO, NV - The front doors of the Umpqua Bank at Moana and South Virginia are open again after a street-widening project restricted access.

Customers should expect some new experiences when walking through its doors.

It's a given that we all need a bank, but it's hardly where where we'd expect to pour ourselves a latte, relax in the lounge, read the paper, or jump on the internet.

Wrap your head around those features and you might think this in fact may be the first bank you'd want to hang out in. In fact, the people here expect you might want to do that.

"Most people we find come in for an hour at the most, maybe an hour and a half and then go on about their business," says the bank's Senior Vice President and Regional Manager Dave Funk.

Wait a minute. An hour or an hour and a half in a bank?

"Sure," says Funk thought he admits that's well beyond the industry norm."

There's more to keep you there.

There's a rotating display of products from local businesses. The current features a local shoe store.

And there's an electronic community billboard for local non-profits. Another interactive display will guide you through the bank's various products.

One feature is decidely low-tech appearing. An old style phone that can connect you with various bank offices.

Want to talk to the president? Just dial 8 and the phone on his desk in Portland rings. He was out when we tried, but we did chat with his assistant and left a message. Pretty cool.

Finally, don't be surprised to see someone walk in with their dog. Yes, the place is pet friendly. The water dish and the dog biscuits are complimentary.

Funk says it all fits in with the corporate culture of the Oregon-based bank.

All in all, it's as if Starbucks had opened a bank.

Banks and bankers aren't all that popular these days. Places like this could change that.

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