Mixing an ice cream shop with a bank may not be the best business model. This Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article
describes this unique business:
Mr. Clay had said bank charter requirements don't apply to him because Whalebone actually is a gift card program. "We created a gift card savings account," he said.
Customers who deposit a minimum of $100 earn interest in the form of a made-up currency called "exclamation" dollars, which can be used to buy ice cream or other items at the store. Every $1 in exclamation bucks is worth $1.10 in regular dollars, Mr. Clay said. A customer with $200 on deposit currently would earn "about 5.5 percent" per month, or roughly 11 exclamation dollars, he said.
It's only a matter of time before regulators freeze his assets.