Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Washington Mutual - Rearchitected Banking Process That Increases Security
My wife hit me up for some cash today so I had to go inside of the bank to draw the funds since the ATM has a daily maximum. Though I had been inside to make deposits previously and made note as to how they have done away with the standard teller window I was not previously aware of the new processes that they had implemented. Since this is not my primary bank I don't have many interactions with them anyway.
I was impressed with their cash handling system. Upon writing a check against our checking account for cash I was given a receipt instead of cash money by the teller. She also asked me if I wanted small bills or large. I had to go over to another counter which was basically a safe that dispenses money. I typed in the security code that was at the bottom of the receipt and I was given my money. I thought that this was great.
The tellers don't handle money and thus it is not stockpiled in their drawers.
OK - I'll be honest - I saw some "FBI-type" show last night in which some radical group in Idaho was robbing banks by setting off pipe bombs in the lobby. As I think about it - this WaMu system would indeed slow them down because the money is not sitting in the drawer but I believe that some of them would be foolish enough to hit the bank when there is 3 or 4 tellers and then force the tellers to run a transaction that clears out the customer's checking accounts while they wait. Of course the police could be summoned while the customers are forced to make the withdrawals thus increasing the chances of them being captured. I think that it is a good system and is a likely effective deterrent to armed hold ups.