SOURCE: BancVue

BancVue

August 20, 2009 08:00 ET

BancVue Launches Kasasa: The Game Changing National Brand That Unites Community Financial Institutions to Win the War Against the Megabanks

AUSTIN, TX--(Marketwire - August 20, 2009) - Recently, more than 300 community bank and credit union representatives from across America gathered together in a ballroom in Dallas to unite around a new game-changing weapon in their war against the megabanks -- KASASA (www.Kasasa.com).

BancVue, the leading provider of innovative products, dynamic marketing, and data-driven consulting solutions to community financial institutions nationwide, today officially announced the launch of Kasasa, a national brand of superior products that gives community financial institutions the marketing scale they need to compete with the megabanks.

Kasasa is designed to unite community financial institutions around a powerful brand of products that will awaken the disengaged banking consumer by delivering what research shows consumers want but believe they can't get. Kasasa delivers superior checking and savings accounts that give consumers incentives that matter to them, combined with the personal service that only community financial institutions deliver.

Already being piloted in six markets with ten community financial institutions, Kasasa has delivered unprecedented returns. In just two months of offering Kasasa, participating community financial institutions are reporting growth rates upwards of 150% on new accounts and 372% on deposits at those institutions that were focused on deposit growth.

The power of Kasasa comes from the power of BancVue. Currently, BancVue serves more than 600 community financial institutions with REWARDChecking, an ultra high-yield checking account that is branded differently by each bank or credit union. The retail network of branches represented by BancVue customers is only topped by the three largest megabanks. Collectively, these community financial institutions spend more than $60 million dollars on marketing the REWARDChecking product.

"Despite this huge marketing budget and truly megabank sized network, community financial institutions are not capturing the consumer's attention because each has been promoting its individual brand of checking account," said Gabe Krajicek, CEO of BancVue. "Kasasa is a unified message that consumers want to hear -- great banking products and great customer service -- that is delivered with such scale, creativity and clarity that it captures consumer's attention."

Marketing Scale

Kasasa delivers a marketing presence and scale that no single community bank or credit union can match on its own. BancVue creates and executes a comprehensive, integrated, and entirely localized marketing plan for each community financial institution. The custom marketing plans reflect the financial institution's specific objectives branch by branch, as well as an understanding of its specific community involvement, grassroots events, and media landscape, all topped with detailed consumer data county-by-county.

With a custom plan in place, Kasasa comes to life through a fresh mix of eye-popping advertising, the likes that have not been produced by community financial institutions in the past. The ads feature America's top slam poets (https://www.KASASA.com/news-and-media/advertising) riffing lyrical threads around the theme of "Do you Kasasa?" The Kasasa campaign is ever-present in communities through advertisements on television, radio, print, and billboards, plus aggressive public relations, social media outreach, community events and captivating gorilla marketing. Kasasa is driven by marketing support that exceeds the typical megabank's high-budget program and truly empowers community financial institutions to compete with a national brand.

"Think about it," continued Krajicek, "when a community bank or credit union prints Visa or MasterCard on its debit card, accountholders know with confidence their transactions will clear. Similarly, when a community financial institution associates with the Kasasa brand, customers will know with the same kind of confidence they're opening the best checking accounts in the country."

Superior Products

Through intensive consumer research, BancVue learned that consumers believe banking is a commodity of bad choice... either good products and indifferent service from megabanks or good service and average products from community financial institutions. Kasasa gives consumers a reason to believe they can get what they really want -- superior products with the personal service only found at the finest community financial institutions. To that end, BancVue, serving as community financial institutions' research and development engine, created Kasasa which not only exceed the typical megabank's high-budget programs, but empowers community financial institutions with competitive products at the same time.

Kasasa launched with four of the most innovative and compelling products on the market today, offering consumers a free account with no minimum balance or monthly fees, nationwide ATM fee refunds and incentives that matter most to them, including:

--  Kasasa Cash™ -- Consumers earn massive interest in cash, which is
    deposited into the account every month.
--  Kasasa Saver™ -- A free saver account where the massive interest
    and ATM fee refunds earned in their Kasasa Cash account are automatically
    deposited into an interest-bearing saver account.
--  Kasasa Giving™ -- A high-interest checking account that directs the
    interest earned to the accountholder's selected charity. In addition, extra
    money is donated with every qualified debit card purchase.
--  Kasasa Tunes™ -- Every month consumers earn free iTunes® downloads.
    

Consumers earn these benefits when they meet fee-boosting, cost-saving monthly qualifications each month, such as using their debit cards, accepting e-statements, and making electronic transactions.

"Even though 70% of all deposits are held by megabanks, consumers told us they'd much rather be at a community financial institution where they can get personal service. But these consumers don't believe their neighborhood community financial institutions can offer innovative products," says Krajicek. "Kasasa gives community institutions the scale they need to offer superior products and consumers a reason to believe they can get what they want."

Pilot Success

The first community financial institutions to launch Kasasa included Bank of Idaho, Countybank, First Robinson Savings Bank N.A., First Vincennes Savings Bank, Legence Bank, The Bank of Marion, Bank of Little Rock, First Arkansas Bank & Trust, Seasons Federal Credit Union, Southern Bank, and Wood & Huston Bank. Each of these community financial institutions has reported quantifiably positive results, including:

--  First Arkansas Bank & Trust increased gross new checking account
    openings per month by 150%.
--  Bank of Little Rock (competitors with First Arkansas Bank & Trust)
    reported a 16.2% jump in deposit dollars over the first 75 days on Kasasa
    (78% annualized).
--  Countybank doubled accounts and deposit dollars in an expansion market
    in less than four months (which took three years prior to launching
    Kasasa).
--  Bank of Idaho reported a 40% increase in account openings in just two
    months.
--  Legence Bank reported an 81% increase in accounts per month, 70% of
    which are new customers.
    

"With Kasasa, we have become the competition in our market," said Larry Daniel, President of First Arkansas Bank & Trust. Larry Brown, president of Bank of Little Rock, a competitor in the same market offering Kasasa, added, "There is no way an institution of our size could have applied the level of resources or achieved this level of success on our own. Kasasa is giving us the marketing scale and product superiority to win against our true competitors, the megabanks."

Kasasa is being offering on a limited exclusivity basis per market. For more information on Kasasa, contact Jim Quinn at 512-418-9590.

About BancVue

BancVue is the leading provider of innovative products, marketing, and consulting solutions to community financial institutions nationwide. Serving over 600 community banks and credit unions around the country, BancVue's solutions allow these institutions to compete and win in the war against the megabanks and direct banks. Community financial institutions benefit from the development and implementation of BancVue's innovative products, including Kasasa, a national brand of superior products that gives community financial institutions the marketing scale they need to compete with the megabanks, and REALChecking®, a system of innovative products, superior marketing, and data-driven consulting. For more information on BancVue, visit www.bancvue.com.

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