TAMPA, Fla. – Grow Financial FCU is trying a novel approach to lure passersby into its branches: an interactive video wall that plays a game with people outside, in which they can win cash.

The credit union’s new location in Tampa features a virtual money machine that people use to “grab” cash, using gesture recognition technology. The credit union is using a mix of gaming and augmented reality, two new concepts to financial services that do not have a substantial track record yet have generated a lot of buzz as a way to make the financial experience more fun, and thus resonate with new and existing members.

“We feel utilizing this type of the newest technology will help to capture the attention of new generations, especially since we are in the midst of a digital revolution,” said Adrienne Drew, a marketing specialist for the $1.8-billion credit union.

The screens were built by Inwindow Outdoor, a New York-based outdoor digital tech firm, and reside outside the branch. The screens incorporate gesture recognition technology, technology that tracks and recognizes body motions, which are replicated on a virtual mirror. As people walk by the interactive windows at the branch, the screens virtually push floating bills around, as if they were pushed by a breeze caused by the passing pedestrian. The users can select the start button, choose a virtual game, and play for prizes that include $25 toward a checking account, $100 toward an auto loan, or $300 toward a new home loan.

Upon the selection, the virtual money machine activates around the user’s digital reflection, and during a 30-second countdown, the user waves his arms around and “grabs” and collects as many bills as he/she can. At the end of the game, users enter their e-mail addresses and receive customized vouchers, a photo of themselves playing the game, and instructions outlined in the e-mail to claim their prize at one of the credit union’s 19 branches.

While it sounds like something from an arcade, the credit union believes the game not only can attract attention, but also provide an additional channel to sign up new members and track the success of the credit union’s marketing. “The money machine is engaging for our users, but it also allows us to determine a definable ROI because we can track how many players utilize their offer or voucher,” Drew said.

“The great thing about the virtual money machine is since the users do receive an e-mail with their photo and voucher, we hope they will take that opportunity to upload their picture to their own social media sites and share though social media channels, as well as spread this opportunity via work of mouth,” Drew said.


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