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Washington Mutual Receives Patent for Its Retail Banking Approach

Friday 25 June 2004 15:45 CET | News

U.S. Patent Office has issued a patent for the Washington Mutuals retail banking approach and several more are pending. This is the first patent issued in the country to describe a full-service branch concept.
Specifically, U.S. patent No. 6,681,985 describes Washington Mutuals retail banking stores as places that "create a welcoming and inviting environment for a customer" and are "in sharp contrast to traditional bank branches." Instead, they have been "transformed into a more retail-like environment." According to the patents description, embodiments of the invention include the teller towers which remove the traditional barrier of a teller line and allow easier interaction between the customer service representative and the customer. Also described were the circular or oval layout of the retail banking stores, the concierge desk where customers are greeted and guided to the appropriate service area, and a kids play area included in many of the companys stores. Further noted was the access to online banking through wamu.com and bank employees who are hired for their high sales aptitude in order to cross-sell the companys financial products. Since the company introduced its new retail banking concept in 2000, it has opened more than 840 new and remodeled stores in its long-standing markets, such as Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles, while expanding into some of Americas largest cities such as New York, Chicago and Atlanta. Tampa Bay-St. Petersburg, Fla., will be the companys newest retail banking market in 2004. Washington Mutual recognized for innovation Washington Mutual has been recognized for its innovation and retail banking strategy, both nationally and internationally. Fortune magazine announced that Washington Mutual was the No. 1 rated company nationally in the innovation category as part of its 2004 Most Admired Companies list, and the company was named the "Best Retail Bank -- Americas" in the Lafferty International Retail Banking Award announced last November.

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Categories: Payments & Commerce | Payments General
Countries: World
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce