While I'm not a branch banking proponent, most of my experiences have been pleasant. But, I can't remember a complex transaction or problem resolution that was handled "beyond my expectations." That said, the crew at Chase Bank (Wedgwood), treats us very well and even reads this blog (hi Ben), and that's saying something.
But the Chase branch did beat expectation this past Saturday. My son was leaving on a school trip that night. I wanted to send him with a prepaid card for unforeseen travel expenses. I had a collection of cards in a drawer that I'd tested over the years. But for a variety of reasons they were all unusable (expired, dormant or just not working).
So, I figured I'd just buy him a throwaway card at Safeway. But I really wanted one that was easy to reload online in case he ran in to a cash jam (note 2). Since there is a Chase branch next to my usual Saturday coffee stop, I dropped by on the off-chance they could issue them on the spot.
shocked pleasantly surprised to find out the bank's relatively new Liquid card was in stock and the opening process took less than 10 minutes, faster than a trip to Safeway. And the card was immediately linked to my online banking where I could transfer funds into the card.
It was the ultimate in convenience: no new passwords to remember, new UI's to traverse, or complex reloading procedures to figure out. The card does have a $4.95 monthly fee, but with no reloading costs, I think that's fair (note 1).
Bottom line: While I can't speak for the overall ROI of the branch on Saturday mornings (I was the only person there during my 10-15 min visit at 9:30 AM April 13), I was a very happy customer, who added another service to my Chase banking relationship, and created positive word of mouth (note 3).
1. After I'd already committed to buying, I found out the monthly fee would be waived based on our business relationship. But that wasn't part of my purchasing decision.
2. My son has apparently lost the card before I could even publish the blog post. So I will soon be experiencing Chase's lost card customer service.
3. Disclosure: We do not accept blog advertising or affiliate deals, so this is not a paid endorsement. Chase is a Finovate customer (newsletter, event tickets) like many of the companies mentioned here.