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CU System
Virtual cash becomes reality with Grow Financial's money machine
TAMPA, Fla. (7/18/14)--Standing inside a gusty money machine booth trying to snatch dollar bills out of thin air can be pretty difficult. Even more so when the money isn't real.

Grow Financial FCU's Virtual Money Machine brings an interactive aspect to a cash-grab at its new location in local mall after moving from the Tampa, Fla.-based credit union's main branch. (Grow Financial FCU Photo)
Grow Financial FCU's Virtual Money Machine, which captures the fun of the real version of the money-grab game in a digitally simulated form, was recently relocated from the Tampa-based, $2 billion-asset credit union's main branch to a local mall, where even more people, including nonmembers, can try it out.

"By placing this large-scale kiosk/ATM in a mall, it not only serves a functional purpose, but also acts as a great marketing platform," said Steve Birnhak, CEO of Inwindow Outdoor, the New York-based company that developed the machine.

The virtual money kiosk, which doubles as an ATM, is driven by an "augmented reality, motion reactive video mirror" that features six touch-sensitive, high-definition screens.

Both members and nonmembers can play the virtual money-grab game. Participants can win $25 toward a checking account, $100 toward an automobile loan and $300 for a mortgage loan.

"Grow Financial wanted to incorporate technology in a way that would be both exciting and engaging, which is not something you typically encounter with financial services companies," Birnhak said. "The virtual money machine is a terrific example of a company reaching its audience in an entertaining way that can result in new customers before they walk in the door."



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