New Account Targets Youth

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What started out as Crawlers, Walkers and Joggers and then advanced to Trikers, Bikers and Hikers is officially Skaters, Boarders and Bladers, the newest kids account being offered at Southwest IBM Employees FCU here.

The CU's new Assistant VP of Marketing, Rick Stokes, said the $144-million CU decided it was time to start luring its youngest potential members-babies, toddlers, youths and pre-teens-with the hopes of keeping them as lifetime members.

"We want them to go from this account to our teen checking account and then onto the regular checking account," he said. "We'd like them to start out early and us as their primary institution for life."

With the help of the Texas league, Stokes said, the product is being introduced with its own cartoon logo-a skating turtle, a cat on a skateboard and a dog on roller blades. It was kicked off in mid-October with a carnival.

Stokes said during the name and design process, the team agreed they needed a lure for kids from birth to pre-teen. Once they reach 14 years of age and up to age 24, they are eligible for a student checking account that includes perks such as waived monthly maintenance fees if they can maintain a balance of $100 or participate in direct deposit.

For the younger crowd, the CU is offering a quarterly newsletter and, eventually, prize incentives for their deposits and good grades, said Pat Mikeworth, marketing assistant.

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