Save to Win is a Win for Washington Consumers

In its first 60 days of operation, Save to Win resulted in 559 new accounts at six Washington Credit Unions. The total savings topped a quarter-million, with the average account balance of nearly $500—not bad for a program targeting consumers who were not previously savers.

Save to Win is the prize-linked program created by the Michigan Credit Union League in 2009. For every $25 deposited, account holders earn entries into monthly and annual cash prize drawings. All of the funds deposited into the accounts, including any interest earnings, belong to the account holders. The program has been demonstrated to have strong appeal for unbanked and under-banked consumers who were not previously inclined to save money. The program was legalized by the Washington State Legislature in 2011. Six Washington credit unions began offering the program April 1, with organizational support and the prize pool funded by the Northwest Credit Union Association’s (NWCUA) Strategic Link subsidiary. Credit unions in Nebraska and North Carolina also now offer Save to Win.

Founding credit unions in Washington include Connection Credit Union, Express Credit Union, Fibre Federal Credit Union, North Coast Credit Union, O Bee Credit Union and TwinStar Credit Union.

“TwinStar Credit Union is thrilled to be part of this incredible program,” said Jared Dance, community development manager. “This program motivates and entices our members to open an account and start saving money every month. Also, with the added bonus of entries to win monthly cash prizes, it’s truly a win-win situation. Save to Win program has endless potential for our state!”

TwinStar members opened 255 new accounts in just the first eight weeks of the Save to Win program.

Reception has also been strong at Fibre Federal, where over 130 accounts have been opened, with members saving $60,000.

“Three of our members won cash prizes the first month, building more excitement about the program,” said Lesley Carrell, senior vice president of marketing. “We have been marketing on the radio, via our website and lobby screens, and through email.”

While loyal members of Connection Credit Union quickly opened Save to Win accounts with large balances, the credit union proactively worked with asset building coalitions and other community groups to ensure consumers who truly benefit from the program learn of the resource.

“We have sent Save to Win flyers to some of our community based organizations to share with their clients,” said Fibre’s Carrell. “It’s a great program for our community where average income per household is at 70% of the states average.”

Studies of prize-linked savings programs have shown the possibility of winning a prize while saving money is strong motivation for consumers to open accounts. The prize pool in Washington offers 100 members the possibility of winning $50 prizes in the first year, while four $5,000 prize drawings will be offered.

 

Questions? Contact Lynn Heider: 503.350.2225, lheider@nwcua.org.

Posted in NWCUA.