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Bertrand Leseigneur
4 minutes

Chase Bank recently (September 2019) opened a new type of branch in Harlem. Chase Bank is working with local community organizations to provide free technology and financial training and presentation spaces for small business and fintech innovation. These courses are available only to Harlem residents.

The concept

The New York-based bank unveiled a high-tech, community-friendly branch in Manhattan, specifically in Harlem. The new model will be replicated in at least six cities next year.

One of the reasons Harlem was chosen first by Chase was the financial diversity of its residents.

The residents of Harlem can therefore benefit from many services and initiatives free of charge. An area of the branch is specifically dedicated to non-profit organizations, small businesses and local partners to organize cultural or training events.

Chase has added “Chase Chats” – interactive discussion events on topics that support the financial goals of clients in the community.

Since opening its doors, the branch has already hosted more than 30 community events, including sessions led by local not-for-profit organizations Neighbourhood Trust Financial Partners – focused on promoting financial health – and Hot Bread Kitchen – focused on job training. These not-for-profit organizations also collectively received $2 million from JPMorgan Chase so that they could serve more people.

Through its on-site innovation lab, the Harlem branch will also test new ways to help consumers online and on their mobile devices by asking customers to comment in real time on various initiatives to meet changing consumer needs and behaviors.

The branch is also collaborating with Google to host free sessions led by a Google Digital Coach that will help Harlem residents improve their online and digital skills. Courses include topics that support their career or business, such as how to create websites, manage social media, create resumes, learn the basics of computer code and master other digital tools.

Why visit the branch?

Entering a new type of branch

What is most striking when entering this branch is the work done on the design of the premises and the general atmosphere. There are many signs referring to the neighborhood in which we find ourselves: Harlem.

The place is very open with many bay windows and it feels like a hotel lounge.

Discover the Financial Solutions Lab

New York-based JPMorgan Chase has confirmed a $25 million commitment to the Financial Health Network’s Financial Solutions Lab – a project focused on creating new fintech tools.

This investment follows a $30 million collaboration between the Financial Health Network and JPMorgan Chase over the past five years to identify and develop tools that help people in the United States “improve their financial health. Over those five years, the lab has developed tools that have reached 4.5 million people and saved consumers more than $1 billion. Fintech companies have been mentored by JPMorgan Chase employees and have raised millions of dollars with the support of the lab.


Take training courses on online security and business development

As mentioned earlier, in partnership with Google, the branch offers on-site training on online security and safe behaviours to follow when shopping or banking online. Similarly, Chase invites many local entrepreneurs to come and share their business experiences with customers in the community.

The current health crisis has of course pushed Chase to rely even more on Google and its webinars. The branch is closed pending the reopening of stores in New York.

Discover innovative startups

Fintech startups from the Financial Innovation Lab can of course use the premises to present their products during information and training sessions. Harlem’s population is often young and connected and its “financial” diversity makes it a perfect target to test these fintechs and the innovative services they offer.

Discover local artists

When the bank also offers to open its eyes to art… There’s a giant mural above the bank’s tellers. It depicts important personalities from Harlem, Chase and was created by local artists. It will be completed over the years as the branch opens.

Bertrand Leseigneur
Based in New York, Bertrand is the Innovation Retail correspondent of the Echangeur in the USA, he decodes the latest American concept stores !!
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