Members participating in a national program that encourages paying down debt and saving money scored high in a number of areas.
Fourteen credit unions participated in a six-month pilot study with SaveUp, a free rewards program that encourages consumers to make positive changes to their financial behaviors, according to the Filene Research Institute, which helped facilitate the study and released a new report on the pilot’s findings Tuesday.
Filene will host a webinar on the report at 3 p.m. EDT on Thursday, Oct. 18. Registration is online.
SaveUp rewards users each time they contribute to their savings or retirement accounts, pay down their credit cards, mortgages, or other loans, or engage with SaveUp's financial education content.
Users earn credits for every positive financial action to redeem for possible prizes including cash, consumer electronics, free air travel, shopping sprees and vacations, according to Filene in Madison, Wis.
Nearly 250 credit union members won prizes during the pilot, including several $1,000 winners.
More than half of the members who participated in the pilot said that SaveUp motivated them to save money and pay day debt, the report showed.
Sixty-four percent of SaveUp users surveyed visited the website at least weekly during the pilot, with 49% visiting three or more times each week. Industry benchmarks show that on average, customers use traditional Internet banking two times per week.
The study also showed that most users made progress on their personal financial goals and engaged with their credit union several times per week.
SaveUp is distributed to credit unions through CU Solutions Group, a CUSO that offers marketing, technology, membership enhancement and performance management services. The CUSO has offices in Livonia, Mich., San Diego, Salt Lake City and Wichita, Kan.
“Our research shows the SaveUp program is a win for the financial institutions and their members,” said Filene Research Institute CEO Mark Meyer, in a statement. “SaveUp greatly enhanced their ability to engage with their members, raise awareness of their products and services, and influence positive savings behavior by making it fun.”
Filene published findings from the pilot study in a report, SaveUp: Making Positive Financial Behavior Fun.
Meyer said the majority of participating financial institutions are continuing their relationship with SaveUp beyond the six-month pilot.
The credit unions that participated in the pilot were:
- $750 million Xceed Financial FCU, El Segundo, Calif.
- $88 million Credit Union of the Rockies, Golden, Colo.
- $239 million Frankenmuth CU, Frankenmuth, Mich.
- $179 million Arsenal CU, Arnold, Mo.
- $747 million St. Mary's Bank CU, Manchester, N.H.
- $728 million Northeast CU, Portsmouth, N.H.
- $49 million Southwest FCU, Albuquerque, N.M.
- $184 million GPO FCU, New Hartford, N.Y.
- $100 million Oregon Employees FCU, Salem, Ore.
- $81 million CTCE FCU, Reading, Pa.
- $313 million Neighborhood CU, Dallas
- $297 million Belvoir FCU, Woodbridge, Va.
- $1.4 billion Educators CU, Racine, Wis.
- $1.8 billion Summit CU, Madison, Wis.