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Archived updates for Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Washington Mutual's Bank Configuration Patent No. US6681985

We claim:

1. A financial transactions processing system to process financial transactions for a customer in a branch bank, the system comprising:

an entrance to the branch bank;

a concierge desk located near the entrance and within the branch bank to permit a live concierge to greet incoming branch bank customers;

three or more freestanding and spaced-apart teller podiums positioned at an approximate middle of a customer-accessible space within the branch bank, and spaced from the entrance to the branch bank, wherein the three or more teller Podiums are arranged in an approximately circular, semi-circular or oval arrangement,

wherein each of the teller podiums is configured for live, personal interaction between the customer and a physically present bank teller, and includes a top surface, a customer interaction area, a teller computer operably connected with a bank server computer, one or more cash slots located in the top surface, and a cash box, wherein the customer interaction area faces outward from the circular, semi-circular or oval arrangement, and wherein the teller podium lacks a vertical window, wall or screen vertically and substantially separating the bank teller from the customer,

wherein the cash box is adapted to securely hold cash that is deposited within it by the bank teller, and wherein further the cash slots are adapted to receive cash and direct the cash to the cash box,

wherein the bank teller computer is configured for use by the bank teller and wherein at least a portion of the teller computer is positioned within, or received by, the teller podium to face the bank teller when the bank teller is interacting with the customer;

one or more product focals positioned along at least one wall and near to the teller podiums, wherein at least one product focal substantially fills a portion of the at least one wall and includes display information about a particular type of product offered by the branch bank and includes a fixture to provide brochures to customers regarding the product;

an automated teller cash dispenser positioned within the customer-accessible space within the branch bank and operably connected with the bank server computer, wherein the teller cash dispenser is adapted to receive information regarding a withdrawal transaction from the bank teller via the teller computer and to dispense cash to the customer; and

one or more check writing ledges positioned near to the teller podiums in the customer-accessible space within the branch bank, or;

one or more teller back counters, the teller back counters being located near the teller podiums and within the branch bank.

citing U.S. Patent Nos. 5600114 and 5434394 as prior art.
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