RALEIGH, N.C. (3/6/15)--Credit union members across North Carolina have saved more than $3.8 million through the Save to Win program, according to figures released by the Carolinas Credit Union League, which in late February helped present grand prizes of $10,000 each to three credit union members.
A program designed to encourage members to save money by offering cash prizes to randomly drawn winners, Save to Win united seven North Carolina credit unions in encouraging members to save (In the Loop March 5). Participating members have deposited more than $3.8 million into more than 1,900 accounts--an average of nearly $1,200 per account.
Prize-linked savings (PLS) accounts encourage savings by offering members entries into cash raffles each time they put away a set amount of money into savings. Members don't risk anything because, even if they don't win, they keep all the money they have saved.
"It follows the core message of Save to Win, that with whatever amount you begin, a positive habit creates positive results," said league President/CEO John Radebaugh noted on the program statistics.
The path to offering Save to Win in North Carolina was cleared in 2011 through the efforts of several credit unions committed to working together on the program. Their testimony aided unanimous passage of state legislation on "savings promotion raffles," excluding them from the North Carolina Charitable Raffle Laws and defining them within general statutes to require deposits in special accounts. The action permitted North Carolina to become the third state in the country to offer the savings program, beginning in 2013.
PLS accounts so far have been approved in 11 states: Connecticut, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Virginia and Washington.
In Minnesota last week, two bills sponsored by the Minnesota Credit Union Network allowing credit unions to offer prize-linked savings were introduced in both the Minnesota House and Senate.