With less than a week remaining in its legislative session, the South Carolina General Assembly has passed S. 652, Saving Promotions Contests, championed by the Carolinas Credit Union League (CCUL) to allow credit unions throughout the state to offer prize-linked savings programs, including the nationwide credit union initiative Save to Win.
A unanimous 110-0 vote in the South Carolina House on May 18 sent the bill to the Senate, which voted 36-0 to concur with the House-amended version. S.652 now awaits signature by Gov. Nikki Haley.
Save to Win is a unique prize-linked model that has merited national media attention for encouraging more families to save their money. Piloted in Michigan in 2009, Save to Win began in North Carolina in 2013 following similar legislative action in 2011.
The accounts, designed to encourage savings, work by offering members entries into cash-prize drawings each time they deposit a set amount of money into a savings account.
Over three years, participating North Carolina credit union members have deposited $5.4 million in 2,300 program accounts--an average of nearly $2,500 per account. Research indicates that the prize-linked savings model effectively changed behavior for North Carolina participants, 52% of whom had not saved money regularly prior to opening program accounts.
"We have seen great results in North Carolina and look forward to the same in the Palmetto State," CCUL President/CEO John Radebaugh said. "It is heartwarming for those of us who want the best for members and consumers to see them encouraged and excited about building for their futures."
Sixteen states now authorize financial institutions to offer this product, including New Jersey, Michigan, Rhode Island, Maine, Washington, North Carolina, Nebraska, Maryland, Connecticut, Indiana, New York, Arkansas, Illinois, Minnesota, Oregon and Virginia.