BANKTHINK

Reaching the Underbanked: Game Theory

Print
Email
Reprints
Comment
Twitter
LinkedIn
Facebook
Google+

(The following post was submitted by Timothy Flacke, Executive Director at Doorways to Dreams Fund (D2D), who, along with colleague Kristy Bowden, Financial Entertainment Specialist at D2D, spoke at SourceMedia's 5th Annual Underbanked Financial Services Forum in Miami.)

Why can't saving money be fun and exciting? When I think of deposit products, I start to yawn. Don't get me wrong, savings accounts, certificates of deposit (CDs), and prepaid debit cards with a savings pocket are all important products for the unbanked and underbanked. But, let's face it, they are boring.

Doorways to Dreams Fund (D2D) is working to change that paradigm with prize-linked savings. Prize-linked savings is about having the chance to win stuff as a result of saving money regularly. And who doesn't like to win stuff? With more than 200,000 locations in the U.S. where consumers can buy tickets, state lotteries have generated over $30 billion in revenue by tapping into this very idea.

Working with the Michigan Credit Union League and the Filene Research Institute, and with funding from CFSI, D2D successfully led the creation and implementation of Save to Win in Michigan. Save to Win is a prize-linked product that awards hundreds of monthly prizes and a yearly grand prize of $100,000 to one lucky Michigan saver. And Michigan residents get entries for every $25 saved. This cocktail of saving and winning generated over 11,600 accounts and more than $8.6 million saved across eight participating credit unions.

Our research on the Michigan pilot in 2009 found something quite interesting: winning a monthly prize led to better saving habits. And prize size did not matter. More importantly, low-income and asset poor consumers generated small savings by year-end.

At this year's CFSI conference we've released our second title, Groove Nation, which is the first-ever dance-budgeting casual video game. This game follows our very successful first game, Celebrity Calamity, in which players manage the credit and debit cards for a variety of spendthrift celebrities. Celebrity Calamity has won awards and been featured in various news outlets (like here, for instance). In 2010, D2D will release two more games bringing our library to four, and we plan to put a game out on a mobile platform.

So, who said saving money can't be fun? Not us.

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

SEE MORE IN

Comments (0)

Be the first to comment on this post using the section below.

Add Your Comments:
Not Registered?
You must be registered to post a comment. Click here to register.
Already registered? Log in here
Please note you must now log in with your email address and password.

Women in Banking

Find out how to be recognized as one of the 25 Most Powerful Women in Banking, 25 Women to Watch, 25 Most Powerful Women in Finance or Top Teams in Banking. Application deadline is May 30.

This feature displays payments industry news and analysis from American Banker sibling brand PaymentsSource. Registration is required; for more information contact customer service.

TWITTER
FACEBOOK
LINKEDIN
Marketplace
Fiserv is a leading global provider of information management and electronic commerce systems for the financial services industry.
Learn More
Informa Research Services is the premier provider of competitive intelligence, mystery shopping, and compliance testing services to the financial industry.
Learn More
CSC is a leader in private-label, third-party loan servicing with 30+ years of proven experience in delivering effective, cost-effective solutions.
Learn More
Already a subscriber? Log in here
Please note you must now log in with your email address and password.