Bank of America and Wells Fargo were among the major banks that debated adding new debit usage charges, and understandably, many consumers were upset. Now, card users can cash in on their anger. Ahead of “Bank Transfer Day” on Nov. 5, Lisa Fawcett, Marketing Director for Co-op Services Credit Union, spoke with PYMNTS.com about their “Shred My Card” program and the amount they’re currently paying consumers to switch FIs.
PYMNTS.com: Please give our readers an overview of Co-op Services’ “Shred My Card” program. Why did Co-op decide to begin this program?
LISA FAWCETT: The “Shred My Card” program offers consumers $105 to come to Co-op Services Credit Union, open a free checking account with qualifying services, and shred their bank card right in our lobby. The program microsite (www.shredmycard.com) has full details of the promotion and offers consumers links to the current bank stories in the news. The site also highlights why we are better than a bank, and encourages visitors to speak their mind about their bank experiences. The site really provides information to help consumers make an educated decision. We created our “Shred My Card” program to let consumers know that we are a great alternative to banks that are charging high fees for their services.
PYMNTS: How many people have participated in the program thus far?
FAWCETT: It’s too early to tell how many people have participated in the program, since we just launched the program on October 6th. However, within the first week we have nearly 1,000 unique visitors to our microsite and many mentions locally and nationally in the news.
PYMNTS: What are your thoughts about the recent rash of new consumer bank fees, in particular, the $5 monthly debit usage charge that Bank of America had been considering? Do you think the CFPB or government should step in to stop any new bank fees that are imposed as a result from the Durbin amendment?
FAWCETT: Bank of America normally charges their customers between $8-$25 dollars per month just to have a checking account. The new $5 fee would have been on top of that. So the total monthly fees could be far higher. They would not just covering their lost of income but making added profit from their customers on the deal. We believe that competition and the forces in the market should determine the pricing and bank fees.
PYMNTS: Do you think the flood of new fees is a sign the Durbin Amendment isn’t working as its author had anticipated?
FAWCETT: Yes, it does appear that the Durbin Amendment isn’t working as its author had anticipated. As mentioned earlier, the government should let the market determine the pricing.
PYMNTS: Many on social media are calling for a “Bank Transfer Day” on Nov. 5. Do you think initiatives such as this have the potential to be effective in convincing major FIs to reverse their policies?
FAWCETT: I think initiatives like “Shred my Card” and the “Bank Transfer Day” will help draw attention to the issues at hand, but I don’t believe that major FIs will reverse their policies. They may however offer ways around the fees or creative marketing to make the fees seem less painful to their customers.
Bio: Lisa Fawcett is the Marketing Director of Co-op Services Credit Union. She has 20 years of experience in the Credit Union industry, as both a consultant and a marketing director. (Read More)
Company Profile: Co-op Services Credit Union is a full-service, non-profit, financial cooperative. Founded in 1954, we now have 8 full service locations throughout Metro Detroit. Our assets exceed $375 million and we have more than 51,000 members who are all shareholders of the Credit Union. We’re also considered the “company credit union” by numerous local employers. (Read More)