Capital One and TD are bringing engineers and product managers to new locations in the city

while the Work from home movement has Some law offices and companies emptied At Center City, software engineers and financial product managers continue to reach out. Two of the country’s largest banks recently announced the expansion of new product centers here:

Capital One Financial Corp. has hired Virginia based, 37th floor of 1735 Market St. , one of the tallest towers in Philadelphia, and will open next spring as one of the company’s two new technology and product development centers, Jay Michelney said. Head of Technical Strategy and Bank Operations.

“A lot of people want to live in the city. So we’re creating an environment that people want in technology,” said Michelini, a native of Chester County.

TD Bank Group, headquartered in Toronto, has turned half of its 15-year-old branch in the United States into an “innovation lab,” says its leader, Colin Duke, who grew up in Burlington County.

With more banking for remote customers, “this is the best use of this space,” which includes rooms configured to test new products and services, such as ATMs with special customer authentication features to deter fraud, and digital banking “games” for virtual reality apps, she said. .

This is the latest to join the Vanguard Group – an entirely suburban company with its main offices in Malvern, Chester County – which nonetheless opened a 17,000-square-foot “innovation center” at 2300 Chestnut Street, in 2017. This location continues to be It serves as the company’s base for young techies who are excited about city living and reluctant to travel by train and truck for an hour plus twice a day to and from the investment giant’s main campus.

TD and Capital One ranked among the top 10 US banks; Each accounts for more than a quarter of the $600 billion in deposits in all banks in the Philadelphia metro area, according to Federal Reserve data.

This is mostly because they base their national accounts in their offices in the Wilmington area, where they can take advantage of Delaware’s low taxes and liberal lending laws. But hiring managers in Wilmington have complained that competition between employers in such a small market — the surrounding New Castle County representing less than one-tenth of Greater Philadelphia’s 6.2 million people — has taken off too well. Recruitment there is very difficult.

So Capital One’s Michelini subsidiary plans to move two senior managers to its new Philadelphia hub from Wilmington, where Capital One has an office tower and employs 500 employees.

“We remain very committed to Wilmington, but we know there is more to come [in Pennsylvania]And we want to meet this talent wherever they are.

The office can be accessed from suburban and city crossing lines several blocks away and via pedestrian tunnels. “Being in the city would give us a great place to be,” Michelini said, convenient for city neighborhoods and suburban trains.

The two Capital One directors relocating to Philadelphia — Amanda Cronin, vice president of product management, and Andre Otis, vice president of engineering — will lead a team of 100 software engineers, technical staff and product managers there, and report to Michelini in Wilmington. The company has a similar urban tech office in Atlanta, a hub for the payments industry.

Recent tech initiatives at Capital One — the kind of projects Michellini says will be built in Philadelphia — include the “early paycheck” option, which eliminates the two-day float that many banks still impose on payroll deposit customers by speeding up the identification of risk and fraud.

“The challenge is to make these decisions in real time and with less information,” Michelini said. “We are using big data from millions of customers at scale.”

For Capital One, the Philadelphia office also serves as a magnet for college hiring. “We look forward to growing our existing partnerships” with the region’s engineering colleges, Michelini said.

The company also expects to strengthen engagement with the non-profit organizations it has previously supported, such as encrypted by kids And the Technical effect software training programs, Temple University Hope Center, And the latin boys High School in West Philadelphia.

Capital One employees can work from home or the office, so Michelini said his employees are reviewing the amenities they can add to make the office attractive.

The bank has a few branches, and prefers to work with clients remotely, although it runs a Capital One cafe near Rittenhouse Square and another in the King of Prussia.

By contrast, TD has one of the largest branch networks in the region, although, like competitors, it is closing offices as more customers go online.

In its 6,000-square-foot campus office, rented from neighboring University of Pennsylvania, TD has cut its branch staff to 10, from 20, as more people bank remotely — and split the rest into spaces for its product innovation teams. , reporting to the Duke and her superiors.

These spaces include a “collaboration” room for staff meetings, training and “brainstorming”, and for use by community groups such as University City District And the People’s Emergency Center; “Focus Room”, where customers test new applications using virtual reality viewers, as well as physical products; “Observation room” to watch the testers and assess their reactions through a two-way mirror; and a “construction room” for new signage production and digital marketing assistants, Duke said on a brief tour.

Duke added that the test is more effective because it takes place in a branch of work familiar to customers. The branch is also convenient for TD employees in offices west of downtown and a short drive from its US headquarters in Marlton.

Among the projects that TD is preparing for testing at the University City site are the company’s “Odyssey” customer chat system; “Gamification” instructions for smartphone banking users; banking services for hearing and visually impaired customers; New self-service kiosks and ATMs.

Additional work proposed for the center includes testing of a new workstation, “digital business card” development, software penetration software, and adaptation of augmented and virtual reality software for product testing.

TD and Capital One purchased their Philadelphia office bases by acquiring innovative retail banks located in the region. TD acquired Commerce Bancorp of South Jersey in Vernon Hill in 2008, while Capital One acquired the armless Arkadi Kuhlmann-based ING Direct of Wilmington in 2012.

“We have been in the Greater Philly area for a decade. We know there is great talent here,” Michelini said. “Now we meet talent where they are,” including Philadelphia.