Maximizing Your Bank Branch Experience

Sponsored content from JPMorgan Chase & Co.



In a world of online tools that let you make banking transactions with the touch of a button, the idea of visiting a branch might seem unnecessary.

However, if you haven’t visited your local branch recently, you might be surprised by what it has to offer. Your branch is much more than a place to deposit and withdraw money – it can offer the opportunity to build valuable relationships with people who can help you achieve financial independence.

Diedra Porché, Head of Community and Business Development at Chase, talks about how the bank model has evolved to maximize the branch experience for customers; how connecting with your local branch team can help you think differently about money and investing for your future.

Q: How can a customer feel connected to a bank branch?

I love that question because we ask ourselves the same thing every day. Being part of the community means meeting with local leaders to find out what they need from us and then designing our branches around that. For example, at some of our community branches we have what we call a living room where we can host financial workshops, small business pop-up shops or nonprofit organization meetings. We also hire locally. You feel much more connected talking about financial aspirations with people from your community who went to the same high school, place of worship or maybe frequented the same recreation center down the street when they grew up.  

Q: How can I build a relationship with my bank?  

Customers should feel comfortable sharing their goals, needs and wants with their banker. You might have a short-term or long-term goal to open a business, build your credit, become debt-free, buy a home, or save for retirement, and our community team can help. At Chase, we strive to make dreams possible for everyone, everywhere, every day. Your financial future starts with building those relationships.

Q: How can customers change negative perceptions they have about managing their money?

Far too often, customers are intimidated when they visit a bank. Our goal is to demystify banking and money myths empowering people to make the right decisions. For example, a big myth is assuming you need a lot of money to have a bank account. You don’t! Another myth is you need to carry a balance on your credit card to build credit —  actively using your credit card can demonstrate that you can use credit responsibly, but carrying a balance won’t necessarily improve your credit score. Finally, having an understanding of mobile and online banking safety is key. There are so many safeguards and protections in place to guard your personal information and funds.

Q: What’s an easy step one can take to shift their financial behavior right now?

Cultivating self-awareness is a good first step. Start by taking inventory of your spending. Be honest with yourself about what you need and what you want. Too often, people confuse the two, which leads to bad decisions. Rent is something you need to pay. An extra pair of shoes is something you may want but before you buy them ask yourself if that’s the best use of your hard-earned money. Too often, our beliefs and our fears shape our financial realities. If any of those beliefs are limiting your financial behavior, it’s important to question and examine them, and then decide you’re open to learning something different.

Q: What’s one perception about banking that you’d like to change?

I think folks are surprised there are so many resources available and accessible both at our branches and online, it’s always a good idea to visit a nearby branch and speak to a Community Manager or banker. Outside of what we offer in-branch, our teams also work with local neighborhood partners who provide a variety of  services to support the community, businesses and residents. I had a unique piece of feedback from an employee who started with the bank and had lived in the same community his whole life. When he visited his local community branch, he said, “Diedra, when I walked in, I felt dignified.” Every time I recount that story, it warms my heart because that’s what we want — we want our centers to belong to the community.

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