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CU in IFast CompanyI on savings account strategy
NEW YORK (8/18/08)--A credit union's savings promotion is featured in Fast Company's September issue as part of an article on innovative new programs that make saving fun. The article, "Break the Bank," reports that banks have drawn consumers' ire with their high-interest lending, rising fees and penalties, and that "a range of financial institutions now are trying a new business model: being good." They're nudging and even paying consumers to save money. In breaks down its discussion of savings programs by type of financial institution: banks, online startups, and credit unions. "As community-based nonprofits, credit unions have always promoted saving as part of their mission," the article says. "But with an aging membership, they're going further to attract new customers." The article features Matt Davis, director of public relations at Members CU, Winston-Salem, N.C., and a Filene Research Institute '30 under 30' member. The credit union's What Are You Saving For? program offers "a paltry" 1.8% interest rate, but it includes monthly drawings for additional cash prizes. He got the idea from Peter Tufano, a Harvard Business School professor who has spent a decade studying and testing new policies to promote savings. Tufano was a speaker at a recent 30 Under 30 meeting in Chicago. The article concludes that the something-for-nothing strategy is "where the future of American savings may lie."
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