Last year I was approached by Capital One about their plans to do a banking tour with brand new openings of the Capital One Cafes in Denver and Boulder. I can truly say that I was personally excited about this news since I’ve been looking for a better workspace experience as a freelancer.
As a reader of this blog you know that I enjoy testing out different tools, sharing my honest review of products and announcing new services that are cutting edge. I like doing the research and taking the time to test things out, so you don’t have to. It’s a win-win for everyone!
Come along with me as I test out some helpful technology and see what the future of banking is starting to look like.
The Capital One Banking Reimagined Tour
Since Capital One has launched their new Cafes they are also hitting the road with the Banking Reimagined Tour. So you’re probably wondering, what the heck is a banking tour? Basically, Capital One is evolving with our banking needs, instead of being stuck in the old way that we used to bank.
By combining innovative products and digital tools with a human connection they’re reimagining what banking looks like. Using touchscreens and virtual reality booths they’re challenging what your core values really are and how you can reach those goals.
Check out my live experience of the tour below! It was actually pretty eye-opening (and sometimes hard to choose).
The future of banking with Capital One Cafes
Capital One Cafes aim to make you feel confident about your finances while empowering you with a banking experience that fits into your lifestyle. No more bank branches with too-few tellers and no one covering the drive-thru.
With new Capital One Cafes popping up all over the country, you can get help with your bank account and deposit or withdraw money from the ATM while getting some food, coffee or using the free Wi-Fi.
Each Cafe is also decked out with Capital One Cafe Ambassadors, but don’t worry, they aren’t there to pitch you products or give you financial advice. They’re genuinely there to help.
In fact, all of the people I talked to had their own Capital One 360 checking and savings accounts — one girl even had 20+ bank accounts, which made me feel a lot more normal about my 17 accounts. Ha!
But seriously, you’re free to utilize one or all of the features and services that the Capital One Cafes provide. One of the most impacting services (IMHO) are the free money coaching sessions and the money workshops.
Again, they’re not focused on making you share your numbers either but instead they want to educate and empower you. They simply coach and offer accountability, they don’t advise or offer therapy sessions.
My coaching session was with Megan Lathrop who’s based out of the Union Square Cafe in San Francisco. Based on the feedback I shared with her, she pulled out the Map Your Values workbook and began to ask me some questions.
I honestly thought I had a pretty good grasp on my core money values but this exercise really challenged me. My mind was truly blown and I’m beginning to think about my priorities in a completely different way.
3 things I learned about myself and money
During my experience with the Capital One Banking Reimagined Tour I had several “ah-ha” moments. One of the main ones being about my core money values. Here are three things I learned about myself and money during the tour.
1. Competing financial goals won’t work
Over the past year I’ve been struggling to make headway with my financial goals. Yes, I save and invest every month, but I can never seem to really start building wealth. I want to take my finances to the next level, but I felt like I’ve been on a plateau and can’t get past it.
After troubleshooting my feelings and finances with Megan, I discovered the reason for this is that I have competing financial goals. I want a career that offers freedom and flexibility but I also want the stability of a steady paycheck. I want to own a cabin in the mountains but not have the responsibility of being a homeowner.
See the problem? I don’t have an answer that will fix this dilemma overnight, but as I take time to re-evaluate my priorities I can begin to make sense of everything.
2. You must review your values often
Your entire life affects your finances. Where you are and where you want to go both alter how you manage your money. As life changes and your perspective about what’s important evolves, you must review your spending habits. Is it in line with your values? Does your daily lifestyle reflect what’s most important?
Are you building a meaningful life, a structured life, an enhanced life or one that’s dynamic? Each of these lifestyles reflects different priorities and daily habits. It may be time to review your budget and change the way you spend money so it reflects what you want to do everyday.
3. You can always improve your money
As mentioned, after a decade in the accounting world and nearly six years in the online financial space, I thought I’d maxed out my financial learning capacity. Ha! How wrong was I. There’s always room to improve and evolve with your money.
You can never stop learning and experimenting. With the way technology impacts our daily life there’s never going to be an end to new tools and products to help make our money serve us better. Be open to these changes and embrace them with a positive mindset.
What about Spark Business from Capital One?
You didn’t think I forgot about how these the future of banking will affect you as a business owner or freelancer, did you? While I was at the Capital One Cafe in Denver I had a chat with a Cafe Ambassador about how Spark Business integrates into their new plan.
For now, you can deposit checks from clients or cash earned from projects using their 24-hour ATMs. You can also withdraw specific cash denominations, like $26 (with a 20-dollar bill, 5-dollar bill and 1-dollar bills). This makes it easier to pay your bills or give tips for business-related expenses, such as a cab ride.
But that’s basically it. Since Spark Business is newer for the Capital One brand they haven’t fully integrated into their regular services. They reassured me though, that this is something they’re working on and plan to offer full customer help in the future.
On the flip side, they offer meeting rooms and smaller “nooks” for you to hold local meetups with like-minded biz owners, and client meetings or other events for free. Just call to reserve the space to make sure it’s not already booked.
You can also hang out at the Cafe like it’s a coworking space (because, well, it is) so they won’t kick you out after 2-3 hours. The Wi-Fi is blazing fast btw, and free.
The bottom line
All-in-all, I learned a lot about my core money values and have some work to do to improve my spending habits. I also found a welcoming space to do my freelance work without being interrupted or having to pay a coworking monthly fee.
And did I mention that Capital One customers get 50% off any Peet’s Coffee or Tea? Yep, it’s a pretty sweet gig. #winning