Pewaukee, Wis. – The Wisconsin Credit Union League invites Wisconsin credit unions to lead a statewide visibility and saving incentive program called Saver’s Sweepstakes.™ The program rewards participating credit union members in Wisconsin and Minnesota for saving by automatically entering them to win cash jackpots. Annual prize pools are expected to be in the five figure range or larger as more credit unions take part.
“This is a tremendous incentive for more Wisconsin consumers to choose credit unions,” said League President & CEO Brett Thompson. “Credit unions’ activism recently passed legislation to bring prize-linked savings (PLS) opportunities to Wisconsin, and now our effort is about to pay off – literally – for Wisconsinites and credit unions. Every time a winner is announced or collects a prize – hundreds of times each year – all credit unions gain media attention and opportunities to grow membership and member loyalty through their own marketing channels. Because savers don’t ‘pay’ for chances to win – as they would with lotteries – and credit unions grow from the continual exposure, it’s a no-lose proposition for all.”
PLS accounts are special deposit accounts that pay dividends for savers while automatically entering them in monthly, quarterly and annual cash prize drawings. Each saver earns one entry into the monthly and quarterly sweepstakes for every $25 in month-over-month balance increases, up to six entries per month. Credit unions can offer their own members-only prize opportunities, if they wish, creating additional visibility opportunities.
According to Commonwealth – which highlighted PLS at The League’s Convention in Green Bay – since 2009, over $190 million has been saved in 30,000 credit union PLS accounts in 13 states. Close to 90% of PLS savers were financially vulnerable but saved over $2,400, on average. Credit unions of all sizes have had PLS winners.
Three quarters of account holders say their PLS account makes them more excited about their credit union, and almost two-thirds say that building their savings would make them more likely to use other credit union services. As many as 14% of PLS account holders joined their credit union just to access a PLS account, Commonwealth reports.
“Wisconsin credit unions’ working together will establish the program’s credibility and create synergy that will boost perception and interest, ensuring a Wisconsin PLS program that sustains a long-term visibility and growth opportunity for credit unions while improving members’ financial health – fulfilling credit unions’ statutory mission,” Thompson said.
Wisconsin credit union participants receive access to an online resource center that includes marketing materials, compliance resources, member agreements, and staff training guidance. They also receive ongoing technical support for secure file transfers, reporting and prize drawings. The League – which is not deriving income from or allocating dues to the program – will continually promote PLS through press releases and media outreach.
Credit unions are urged to sign on now to allow for the 60-90 day window of technical and training tasks prior to offering members PLS accounts, starting in September. The first prizes will be awarded on Oct. 18 – International Credit Union Day.
Christine Henzig, Director of Communications