At Kasasa we’ve long hoped for the day when people would get passionate about their bank accounts and stop feeling confined by scant offerings from banking dinosaurs. Thanks to Bank Transfer Day, we’ve seen plenty of excitement and demands for better service and banking options.
What Is Bank Transfer Day?
If you have great big piles of money in your bank account, you might not have heard that Saturday, November 5, was Bank Transfer Day. Bank Transfer Day was started in response to the new monthly fees megabanks were beginning to impose on their account holders. Most of the fees were based on debit card use or the amount of money deposited in the account (with no fee for those with high balances).
Those new debit card fees were rescinded before the 5th, but account holders still visited community banks and credit unions in large numbers to express their dissatisfaction with megabanks by opening new, local accounts. Even with the new fees revoked, many felt that there would be some new charge down the line now that banks have lost profit due to new regulations.
What Were the Results?
The results were threefold: 1. Community institutions saw a boost in account holders, 2. New account holders with community banks and credit unions will win with better service, and possibly better rewards (if they found an institution with rewards accounts like Kasasa), and 3. Consumers were able to see a direct result from voicing their anger over the fees, when the fees were dropped.
As for the numbers, according to the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) who surveyed 1,100 credit unions, 40,000 new members were added on Saturday, which makes the total number of new members during the month leading up to the 5th a whopping 700,000. (To compare, credit unions gained 600,000 new members in all of 2010.) The number of account holders leaving the megabanks may be even larger, as many involved in the movement vowed to move to a local bank (as opposed to a credit union).
Why Community Banking?
At Kasasa, we have always believed in the superior benefits of community banking. Our focus is on combining the exceptional service and local dedication of community banks and credit unions with superior, innovative banking solutions. Keep in mind that it wasn’t the community banks and credit unions that caused our current economic crisis and were labeled “too big to fail.” Community institutions care about their local economy and invest in it. They also respect their account holders. There's no better example of this than Kasasa's partner institutions. These community banks and credit unions will never require a minimum balance to benefit from their accounts. Why? Because they believe you deserve to be rewarded, not charged, for entrusting them with your money!
UPDATE: Northwest Resource Federal Credit Union, a Kasasa partner, was featured by Occupy Portland during their "open an account" march and party. Watch it on YouTube here. Northwest had Portland's famous Voodoo Doughnuts ready for the crowd and saw approximately 150 visitors to their credit union. Of the group, 16 opened accounts, which may seem small but is actually is two thirds of their normal monthly amount, so it's a great turnout for one day! They were also featured in a CU Times recap.