Ardent Credit Union wants to patent a “cube” branch for office lobbies and shopping malls, and hopes to eventually market the idea to other financial services companies, writes Jeff Blumenthal for bizjournals.com.
The branch brainstormed ideas with the architects of HOK looking for a cheaper alternative to traditional banks, while still providing a face-to-face experience . They came up with a 10 feet tall “cube” that is 14 feet wide and 14 feet long. The cube is made of out of a sturdy plastic laminate and solid surface material as cladding. The substructure is made of steel and plywood, and inside there is a video ATM, and office, and a teller line. The cube holds two employees and a few customers at a time.
Rob Werner explained that it only costs $250,000 to build a cube and just $50,000-$100,000 to ship it. Werner compared the cost of the cube to the $2 million to $4 million price tag of a traditional bank. To protect the idea Ardent filed for a patent with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, as they plan to sell it to other financial institutions.
“I think the first step is simply protecting the innovation,” Werner said. “Then we can form a subsidiary and look to sell them. We think this fills a void in the marketplace.”
Ardent opened its first cube branch the lobby of Glaxo SmithKline’s Collegeville location.
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