Preparing for the scenario of higher interchange costs, Nevada Federal Credit Union detailed Friday what it called forward-thinking debit card ad promotions offering a series of member incentives including giveaways and cash backs to raise fee income.
The $689 million CU, the state’s second largest, said it is launching three separate online and direct mail campaigns, including a “Go Debit Card Crazy” contest, conducted during April and May to generate card volume. One ad reads, “Are you in love with your Nevada Federal debit card?” and suggests they use it “like crazy” to win prizes, including popular electronics such as iPads and PlayStation 3s.
The “Go Debit Card Crazy” campaigns are being conducted as Nevada Fed continues its parallel lobbying effort to persuade lawmakers including U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, Senate Majority leader, to go along with interchange delay bills introduced this week. Like CUs elsewhere, Nevada Fed has posted an urgent “Member Action Requested” message on its website urging members to write, phone and email Congress to delay interchange.
Greg Barnes, senior vice president of marketing, said that management felt the CU needed to protect itself against the large interchange income decline, which for Nevada Fed could run $4 million a year.
Merchants could eventually “stop taking our cards, discriminating against us,” which is why Nevada Federal remains unenthusiastic about the two-tier system that has been put forward, said Barnes.
Based on the “Go Crazy” campaign, Barnes said the CU is forecasting a 20% increase in debit transactions for the targeted groups. “For the contest, by looking at the existing high debit card users, I think the winner will be 300-400 debit transactions,” he said.