Area credit union rolls out WINcentive savings accounts
Tuesday, June 14, 2016
St. Cloud Times (June 14, 2016) - About 56 percent of Americans do not have enough income saved to cover an emergency. And according to a 2012 FINRA Investor Education Foundation survey, Minnesotans are not much better.
The 2012 survey found 55 percent of Minnesotans do not have a rainy day fund with savings that could cover expenses for three months.
But recent efforts from the Minnesota Credit Union Network, including a St. Cloud-based financial institution, are trying to turn those numbers around.
WINcentive Savings, a prize-linked savings account, was put into effect on Jan. 4. As of the end of April, Andrea Molnau, director of communication for Minnesota Credit Union Network, said almost 3,000 people have taken advantage of the account. She estimated those consumers have saved $975,000.
"People seem to have an aversion to saving money and having a budget," Molnau said. "It's not something that's fun."
WINcentive Savings accounts offer participating credit union members the opportunity to invest in a permanent savings account with the added bonus of a possible financial incentive.
"We've been looking at ways to help improve our members' lives," said Mark Douvier, St. Cloud Federal Credit Union's vice president of lending. "For someone who isn't a natural saver, this meshes nicely. It's an outside-the-box way of thinking."
St. Cloud Federal Credit Union joined the WINcentive program in February. It is one of 14 credit unions in the state and the first Central Minnesota-based credit union participating in the program. Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union, with a branch in St. Cloud, is also a WINcentive member.
WINcentive participants open a special savings account. Each time a $25 deposit is made, the saver is entered into a drawing to win $100 at the end of the month. Douiver said 50 people can win the monthly prize of $100. There are quarterly and annual prizes as well.
Douiver said there are some restrictions on the account to dissuade people from withdrawing the money for a one-year period.
"I think this is a fun and creative way to get people to save," he said.
Currently, Douiver said about 60 members of St. Cloud Federal Credit Union have taken advantage of the program. Seven monthly winners have come from St. Cloud Federal Credit Union so far this year.
"This is a great and fun way to deal with the issue of saving," he said.
For more information on WINcentive Savings visit www.wincentivesavings.org.