How Organizations are Helping People Save
A wide range of organizations, including government agencies, corporations, financial services institutions, banks, credit unions, academic institutions, and nonprofits help people save more successfully by encouraging their constituents to save, providing information about savings strategies and products, and offering opportunities to take financial action.
Here are some examples of what others have done.
From large banks to small community banks, financial institutions have used America Saves and America Saves Week to attract new customers, offer incentivized accounts to help people save, increase account balances, and educate individuals on the importance of saving.
About half of reporting financial institutions that participated in America Saves Week 2011 found higher than normal rates of accounts opened during the week, showing that participation benefits consumers and is good for business.
Community Bank (operated by Bank of America)
- Encouraged customers to take the MilitarySaves.org “Savers Pledge”
- Promoted financial education and counseling services both internally and outside of traditional banking channels
- Provided actionable outreach tools to use in the community
- Reached and educated parents through educational resources designed for and directed toward children
- Encouraged and challenged adults and children to save money for short and long‐term needs, primarily through automatic transfers to an established Community Bank savings account
- Provided customers with electronic resources and tools to support ongoing savings efforts
- 669 Adult Savings Accounts Opened
- 311 Direct Deposits Set-up
- 132 CDs Opened
- 261 Transfers set Up
- 23,557 Customer Engagements
Armed Forces Bank, N.A. (AFB) and Armed Forces Bank of California, N.A (AFBCA)
- America campaign America Saves slogan “Start Small, Think Big” AFB and AFBCA created a strategy that started small
- Local Bank and Command driven activities - and expanded to a bank-wide effort to encourage military members and their families to invest in their financial readiness.
- Lead by executive management and implemented by employees at all levels
- Local installation communities came together with local AFB/AFBCA banking centers to motivate and to educate military members and their families to “Set A Goal, Make a Plan, Save Automatically" through participation financial education classes, table displays, giveaways, distribution of literature about saving, protecting identity, and good credit
- Active endorsement by all 62 AFB/AFBCA branches at branches and key locations on military installations.
- Combined total of 695 new AFB/AFBCA savings accounts
- 423 enrollments in the AFB/AFBCA Savings Cent$ program
- Conducted a satellite media tour featuring Christine Marcks, President, Prudential Retirement, and
- Offered a promotional Certificate of Deposit product during the Week
- Results: 580,000 mailers sent; 11,188 increases to retirement accounts; $60 Million in new annualized savings.
Navy Federal Credit Union
- Promoted Product February 20th – March 18th
- Custom Club Account ($5 min., $5,000 max.)
- APY was increased to 2.00%
- No Direct Deposit or Checking Account requirement (perfect for our audience)
- Custom Club is “goal” oriented
- “Automatic” recurring deposits can be set up
- “Manual” deposits made anytime
- Product Take-up
- 11,532 Custom Club Accounts were opened for $22.5 million
- 626 (5%) were opened by new members (became a member on or after February 20th) for a total of $1.4 million
- 220 Branches worldwide
- Posters & Take Ones
- Homepage: www.navyfederal.org
- 2 Opportunities presented to viewers: Take the Pledge & Learn about the Custom Club Account
- Contact Center: Members who called in were educated about the Custom Club Account
- Social Media (Facebook)
- Take the Pledge and receive a free Navy Federal T-Shirt
- Custom Club Contest
- Over 900 Visitors wrote a post
- 272% Visitor increase to our Military Saves page (compared to week before Military Saves Week started)
- People were sharing pledges & stories on our social media outlets. The act of sharing ways to save and making suggestions was contagious.
The First A National Banking Association
- Opened 152 new accounts during America Saves Week totaling almost $56,000.00 in new money
- Waived the service charge for any account under $100.00 for one year in order for anyone to grow their wealth during that time and open the account with as little as $15.00
- Sent material to all area schools administrator, put it on our facebook page, newspaper ad, our bank marquees, and teller receipts.
- Had a branch contest as to who could open the most accounts. 17 branches competed for first, second, and third place.
The Columbia Bank
- Held a savings campaign from 2/21-2/29 in 40 of The Columbia Bank full service branches
- Opened 119 new savings-type accounts for a total of $1,438,380.61
- Held a contest We will be drawing a winning entry next week for a $500 CD from The Columbia Bank
First Security Bank and Trust
- 14 branches throughout Iowa
- Developed a unique savings product called “First Step CD” that provides higher rates and is designed to encourage savers to develop a habit of saving for unexpected events, vacations, or other needs by adding to it each month.
- Has special training for its retail bankers in which it teaches them about savings methods and how to encourage their customers to “pay yourself first” through savings, and to encourage customers to sign up for emailed savings tips.
Service Credit Union
- Opened 302 Military Saves Accounts with an average balance of $3859 (approximate total of $1.1 million)
- The account included a 2% dividend rate on balances up to $2500 through November of 2013
- Members were required to set up monthly automatic deposits of $25 or more to encourage a savings habit
- Additionally, 800 military members signed up for the Military Saves program at Service Credit Union
Sea Air Federal Credit Union
- Add-on Certificate at 2% for 24 months
- Initial deposit of $100 - $1,000 with subsequent deposits encouraged up to $500 per month
- Military Saves Week Results: 13 new accounts with approximately $10k in new funds.
- Offered a 10% APY certificate and opened 24 of them for active duty service members and their spouses
- The high interest rate created a buzz about saving money and encouraged future savings with our institution and savings in general
The Peoples Bank
- Small community bank consisting of three offices
- Within the three offices they opened 29 new savings accounts during February
Colleges and Universities
Chattanooga State Community College: Throughout America Saves Week 2014, we reached the entire campus community (students, faculty and staff) through email messages. We promoted saving tips and budgeting ideas. Our week was centered on a variety of themes. We started by introducing the America Saves concept to our community and encouraged them to start small and think big. We organized the Save Your Refund contest as well as discussed ways to get motivated to save.
East Side University Community Learning Center: During the America Save Week, we created a “savings jar” in order to purchase GED 2014 practice tests vouchers for five students who could not afford them. We had been able to receive contributions from students and faculty who dropped their change in our “saving jar” allowing us to help these students in need.
Red to Black at Texas Tech University:This year, we organized a competition between our institution and Kansas State to see which one will get more students to take the pledge to save. Texas Tech won! In addition, we used social media as an effective tool to reach out to students on our campus.
Wiley College:We had a successful America Saves Week at Wiley. The entire week was full of events and activities. We started with a press conference which the VP of Students Affairs emphasized the importance of saving and what Wiley is doing to promote it. Then, the Wiley Saves Team encouraged faculty and staff to take the pledge by scheduling visits in their offices. Throughout the week, the team held discussion sessions in classes, public yards, and the cafeteria. The last day of our week, a public awareness campaign was organized in the yard where hundreds of students attended enjoyed performances and used their smart phones to take the pledge to save and set their saving goals.
University of Illinois Saves:We organized a campus wide competition from February 24 to April 10. Three university of Illinois campuses (Chicago, Urbana-champaign and Springfield) participated. The annual University of Illinois Saves Campus Competition “encourages a culture of positive financial behavior, savings, throughout the University of Illinois system by encouraging students, staff & faculty to set savings goals.” This year alone during our competition, we had 373 savers (students, faculty and staff) with diverse saving goals. Urbana-Champaign Campus won the entire competition with 316 people pledging to save. This event was a success and thanks to our partners’ marketing efforts, the program keeps on advancing.
Santa Fe College: We did a Financial Aid Awareness Week in the week of May 24. Even though we did not have much time to plan this, it was a great event. We gave the students information regarding Legal/ID theft advice, eating healthy on a budget, budget counseling, investment advice, career coaching, and a special speaker who talked about financial literacy. We asked students to enter their information if they wanted so that we could assess the success of the event. Only 153 students who participated shared their information and most of them where satisfied with our performance. They all stated that they would like to participate the next year.
California State University Northridge- CSUN Saves:We tested a service-learning model on California State University, Northridge's campus where students in a Family and Individual Money Management general education course had the option of participating in the campus CSUN Saves campaign as a service-learning opportunity. Students were responsible for managing social media, marketing, public relations and presentations. During America Saves Week, students coordinated over 50 hours of tabling events on campus (3 locations), participated in 2 resource fairs and a financial literacy event, and conducted one financial education workshop at a Living Learning Community in the dorms. To their credit, they actively sought out additional venues for sharing the budgeting and saving message and are currently planning and preparing for financial workshops at fraternities, for resident advisers in the dorms, and several other student organizations and clubs.
Reaching Small Businesses and Employees
- Other financial services companies and federal agencies have found participation in America Saves and America Saves Week particularly helpful in promoting good financial behavior for their employees. For example: MetLife ─ sent out a flash email, that reached over 33,000 associates to introduce America Saves Week, reinforce why MetLife supports it, and connect it to what they do as a company. The Social Security Administration ─ educated their employees on the importance of savings and financial planning by hosting a one-day comprehensive Seminar and sending a nationwide email message on the importance of America Saves Week.
- The Department of Labor, IRS, NACHA, and AICPA have partnered with America Saves to reach small business owners during ASW 2011, 2012, and 2013. DOL hosted webinars that included videos by Asst. Secy Phyllis Borzi for hundreds of small business owners. These webinars provided an overview by DOL and the IRS of how to set up retirement plans for employees. America Saves focused on the importance of employer support of saving at work by providing direct deposit for paychecks and the opportunity for automatically saving a portion of each paycheck. The missing component to this strategy is the participation by a financial institution to provide the needed banking services.
Written by Katie Bryan
Published: 28 October 2013