By Jessica Demorest
Save to Win Product Coordinator
The groundbreaking Save to Win program is a great way to encourage your members to save. MCUL & Affiliates is signing up applicants to take part in the program for 2014.
Save to Win, launched in Michigan in 2009 with eight credit unions, was the nation’s first large-scale prize-linked savings product. Going into its sixth year, the program is still reaching out to a diverse set of accountholders through the 38 participating credit unions. Of those 38 credit unions, six are in the small-asset-sized category and over the years have seen how this product helps their low- to moderate-income members create positive saving behaviors.
Save to Win partner of MCUL & Affiliates, Doorways to Dream Fund (D2D), found in its recent report “Save to Win: Highlights from Michigan 2012” that “Save to Win continued to positively impact financially vulnerable individuals, a fundamental goal of the product.” Members that are classified as financially vulnerable are those who are asset poor (having less than $5,000 in assets excluding home equity), low- to moderate-income (household income less than $40,000), single with dependents (single parent with one or more children) or persons who are non-savers (individuals who did not save regularly before opening their Save to Win account).
D2D’s report also mentions how the account rollover rate of the financially vulnerable members from 2011 to 2012 was 94%, which was the same percentage as the non-financially vulnerable members. Save to Win’s level of interaction and product stickiness from year to year is not only reaching out to persons that already have a savings plan, but also benefits those who have never saved before.
So far this year, Communicating Arts CU, which has been in the program since its inception, has 432 members participating in Save to Win, which is 4.67% of their membership. This is the third-highest member penetration rate out of the 38 credit unions participating in the program. CACU has helped its members save $500 on average per account. Plus every $25 members save earns them an entry into monthly and grand prize drawings where they could win between $50 and $10,000.
“One of any credit union’s goals is to promote thrift,” CACU CEO Hank Hubbard said. “For those that feel like they don’t have any money left over at the end of a pay period, getting them to save for a rainy day just seems impossible. The lack of a nest egg is a primary reason it is so expensive to be poor.
“In serving a low-income community, getting people to save more is the best thing we can do for them, and sometimes we almost have to trick them into it,” Hubbard added. “That’s what I feel like we are doing with Save to Win, they don’t think of it as saving so much when they are making the decision to open the account. They are thinking about winning a prize. Saving is the secret benefit. That we are seeing people beginning to understand that they can save is what I like about Save to Win.”
Several other small-asset-sized credit unions also promote this beneficial product to their members. Grand Rapids Family CU has participated in the program for the past four out of five years and has helped its 200 accountholders save more than $1,300, on average, per account. Other SAS credit unions participating in Save to Win are Muskegon Co-op FCU, Alpena Community CU, Jackson Community CU and Generations Community CU.
Want to offer this product to your members? Contact your league representative today for details on how to sign your credit union up for the 2014 program.