SOURCE: Kasasa

Kasasa

July 31, 2012 12:00 ET

Over 300,000 Community Banking Consumers Paid $55 Million in Interest From Kasasa Accounts

New Way of Banking Locally Taking Nation by Storm

AUSTIN, TX--(Marketwire - Jul 31, 2012) - Kasasa® (www.Kasasa.com), a national brand of free checking and savings accounts that pay consumers to bank, reached a milestone this month having paid out more than $55 million to over 306,000 community bank and credit union account holders around the nation. 

More than just a catchy name, Kasasa is a completely new kind of banking that pairs innovative products with the personal touch of community banks and credit unions. Kasasa accounts feature a free debit card, no monthly service fee, online banking, and nationwide ATM fee refunds. And unlike most accounts that only offer interest on high balances, Kasasa accounts require no minimum balance to earn rewards, giving consumers a chance to make all of their deposits work for them.

"Kasasa is unlike anything I've ever experienced at a bank," said Mike Malone, a Kasasa account holder at Farmers Citizens Bank in Ohio. "It's the first time I haven't felt like I was just a number. I'm actually being paid for keeping my money with a bank and I feel great supporting my local community. It's a total win-win for me."

The community banks and credit unions that offer free Kasasa accounts are paying their account holders with rewards they actually want, including high interest (upwards of 2.5-4%), cash back, automatic savings, money to donate to charity, or digital downloads from iTunes® or Amazon.com®. In the process, these consumers and their local institutions are creating what Gabe Krajicek, CEO of BancVue, the company behind Kasasa, calls a "virtuous ecosystem."

"When consumers invest their money in a local bank or credit union, those deposits stay in the community," says Mr. Krajicek. "They become a loan to a small business or a neighbor. This whole notion of communities taking care of communities is the very essence of what has made America so successful. Everybody wins."

Based on the philosophy that consumers should get something back for entrusting their hard-earned money to a financial institution, specific Kasasa accounts include:

  • Kasasa Cash® - A free checking account that rewards account holders with massive interest in cash.
  • Kasasa Tunes® - A free checking account that rewards account holders with digital downloads from iTunes® or Amazon.com® every month.
  • Kasasa Saver® - A free, high interest savings account linked to a Kasasa Cash or Kasasa Cash Back™ checking account to help account holders save easily. The interest and ATM fee refunds earned on the Kasasa checking account are automatically deposited into the Kasasa Saver account. The balance in the Kasasa Saver account also earns a high rate of interest. 
  • Kasasa Giving® - A free checking account that gives account holders high interest to keep for themselves and money from debit card purchases to automatically donate to his or her selected charity. National Kasasa Giving partners include American Humane Association, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and Stand Up to Cancer. Local charities may also be available to the community bank or credit union.
  • Kasasa Cash Back™ - A free checking account that rewards account holders with major cash back on everyday debit card purchases, without points or category restrictions.  

To receive the Kasasa account benefits each month, account holders are asked to do a few simple things during that qualification cycle -- activities, for the most part, they are already doing, such as receiving e-statements, accessing online banking, using a debit card, and making direct deposits.

"Gone are the days when all consumers got for their deposits were high fees and lousy customer service," says Mr. Krajicek. "With Kasasa, consumers are finally getting the kind of great banking experience they deserve." (BancVue has produced this short video of Mr. Krajicek discussing the logic behind creating Kasasa, and what he thinks Kasasa means to consumers and to the nation.)

Free Kasasa accounts can be found and opened on www.Kasasa.com, where users can search among a growing number of Kasasa providers by zip code, type of account, or type of reward. With new community banks and credit unions joining every week, Kasasa.com will quickly expand its current lineup of 130 participating institutions. In the meantime, consumers are encouraged to go to their local banking institution or to Kasasa.com to request Kasasa for their community.

Once consumers decide to get off the megabank roller coaster of frustration and open a Kasasa account, making the change has been made easier with Kasasa.com's switch kit. According to a recent research report conducted by First Resource, 96% of Kasasa account holders said they had an "easy or somewhat easy" experience switching from a megabank account. 

According to a recent Javelin Research study, 25% of Citibank customers and 21% of Bank of America customers say they're likely or very likely to change banks within the next year. For Wells Fargo and Chase, those figures are 14% and 12%.

BancVue introduced Kasasa as a way for community financial institutions to join forces under a national brand as they fight to take back market share from the megabanks and give consumers what they deserve. Today, community institutions in 39 states have committed to offer Kasasa, representing a combined total of over 750 branch locations. According to FDIC data, if all the community banks and credit unions offering Kasasa were considered as a single financial institution, the network would rank 17th in branch network size.

To keep up on the latest and greatest Kasasa updates, consumers are encouraged to "like" the Kasasa Facebook page and follow Kasasa on Twitter.

Do you Kasasa?

Kasasa® is a national brand of the most innovative free checking and saving accounts available today. Offered exclusively by the finest community banks and credit unions around the nation, Kasasa accounts are the first to reward account holders for using their accounts with what they want most -- high interest, cash back, automatic savings, money to donate to charity, or digital downloads. Developed and distributed by BancVue, Kasasa marries innovative banking products with the personal touch of community financial institutions. For more information, visit www.Kasasa.com

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