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Friday, April 18, 2014

Mid American Credit Union’s newest branch will feature cafe

By Jerry Siebenmark
The Wichita Eagle

Jim Holt is hoping to create a different experience for customers of Mid American Credit Union’s newest branch, which will break ground this week at the southwest corner of 29th and Webb in northeast Wichita.

It’s different enough that the 4,000-square-foot building, to be constructed by Dondlinger & Sons Construction Co., will have a 900-square-foot cafe – Savories Tasty Shop and Coffee House – in it.

But what Holt thinks will be more unique is how the $168 million-asset credit union’s customers are served. The new branch won’t have a traditional teller counter.

Instead, it will have two stand-alone teller, or “dialogue,” stations that customers will be walked to by an MACU staff member, who will greet the customer at the door. Holt said the idea behind having a teller greet a customer at the door and walk them through whatever it is they need at the branch will help establish a better rapport.

“We’re thinking this is going to be more like a relationship,” said Holt, MACU’s president and chief executive. And in the process “maybe they can help them with more than their immediate need … try to drill down at what the member is really looking for.”

Each station will be set up for customers to do transactions, including cash. The branch also will offer other traditional services such as loans.

Holt said Mid American plans to offer it as a shared branching facility to other credit unions but no firm deals are yet in place. He expects the new branch, which will feature a rotunda-shaped lobby, to open in November.

The café, which will offer free wireless Internet and have a separate drive-through window, will be operated by Shawn Blattner.

It will be the first branch Mid American has had on the city’s eastside in more than 10 years. It previously operated a branch at 1717 S. Rock but closed it and sold the building to Emprise Bank in 1990.

The credit union’s main branch is at 8404 W. Kellogg Drive.

Reach Jerry Siebenmark at 316-268-6576 or jsiebenmark@wichitaeagle.com.

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