ALBANY, N.Y., and ST. PAUL, Minn. (12/23/15)--News stations in New York and Minnesota reported on prize-linked savings (PLS) accounts recently, and called on representatives from the Minnesota Credit Union Network (MnCUN) and New York Credit Union Association (NYCUA) to help them explain how the programs work and how they help consumers.
Mike Lanotte, NYCUA senior vice president/general counsel, appeared on “Capital Tonight,” a political talk show on Albany’s Time Warner Cable News station, last week to talk about the state’s Lucky Savers program--New York’s iteration of prize-linked savings.
Lanotte spoke about the benefits of the program, and about where consumers can find credit unions that offer prize-linked savings (The Point Dec. 22).
PLS accounts work by awarding credit union members with entries into monthly, quarterly and annual cash prize drawings each time they put a pre-determined amount of money--often $25--into a special savings account.
“The beauty of it is, you’re not buying a ticket where you‘ve given your money to someone else, and if you don’t win you’ve lost that money,” Lanotte said on “Capital Tonight.” With Lucky Savers, “you’ve put your money away and you’re earning interest on that. So you really have a chance to win, but you also win regardless because you’re also saving money.”
New York credit unions began offering the program in October, with 35 credit unions participating at the outset, according to Lanotte. In the first two months, more than 2,000 certificates were opened and more than $2 million was saved.
In Minnesota, meanwhile, Andrea Molnau, MnCUN director of communications, sat down with Jason DeRusha on News Radio 830 WCCO-AM last week to talk about Minnesota’s new PLS program, WINcentive Savings.
Credit unions in Minnesota will be able to offer PLS accounts starting Jan. 1, with 13 credit unions already signed up to offer the program.
“Credit unions recognize there are generally pretty low savings rates, and we wanted to find a creative way to help people build healthy savings habits and encourage people to save,” Molnau said on the program.
Credit unions and consumers can find more information on WINcentive Savings online.
In addition to New York, credit unions in Michigan, Rhode Island, Maine, Washington, North Carolina, Nebraska, Maryland, Connecticut and Indiana currently offer PLS programs.