One of the most compelling stories a credit union can tell is that it truly cares about improving members' financial lives. When empathy, game thinking, and collaboration come together in that spirit, amazing things happen.
In 2009 eight credit unions in the state of Michigan came together to help consumers get excited about saving. Poor and unemployed consumers are constantly being caught up in the vicious cycle of lottery programs. After all, the financial gain from winning a lottery jackpot promises an escape from poverty. But so does saving (albeit at a slower pace). So these credit unions sought to leverage the compelling parts of a lottery, while ensuring participants didn't lose their principle.
The result was Save to Win, a prize-based savings account that provides a chance to win a life-changing prize for saving activity. While the above video does a great job characterizing the program, it's important to highlight some of the things that make this program special:
- Cooperation and collaboration. The credit unions participating in Save to Win could not have done it alone. They needed each other. They also needed the Michigan Credit Union League, D2D Fund, and Filene Research Institute. Amazing thing happen when like-minded visionaries come together
- Empathy. This program could have easily been shaped as an anti-lottery campaign. It wasn't. Lotteries are fun and for some populations provide a glimmer of hope that a brighter future lies ahead. Save to Win used that same thinking to create a compelling program that fit its target consumer's sensibilities.
- Fun. The reason that lotteries, the McDonald's Monopoly game, and a game of tennis is fun is that every time you play you think something amazing can happen -- an epic win. A Powerball jackpot, a free Big Mac, a diving cross court winner...these are uncertain outcomes that keep people coming back for more.
- Losers don't lose. Save to Win members don't lose when they lose. Instead, they build savings.