First Arkansas Bank and Trust (Jacksonville, AR) has a new app that features cutting-edge technology and widespread appeal.
“It’s been our perspective for the longest time that our institution be on the tip of the spear as it relates to tech offerings,” explains Roger Sundermeier, Jr.,SVP, Chief Brand Officer. “The marketplace moves so fast that a tech offering that seemed so fresh is no longer viable anymore.”
So Sundermeier says the bank wanted to offer a tool that had staying power and would be attractive to millennials, plus older customers .
Developed by HT Mobile, Plinqit is a savings app that allows the user to name their savings goal and the amount they want to save. Users then connect the app to a checking account and Plinqut automatically makes the transfers to a savings account.
The app can sweep goal money into a savings account weekly, twice a month, or monthly, depending on how the user sets it up.
That’s it. “The app is basically like an old-fashioned Christmas Club on steroids,” says Sundermeier.
But unlike other static accounts, the user has more control over how they save, says Leah Fender, Marketing Specialist.
“For instance, you have a limited number of transactions before you are assessed a fee at other financial institutions
“At many big banks, you are hit with fees after too many transfers. But with Plinqit, you don’t have to worry about any fees.”
However, if savers need the money desperately, they can get it out by paying a withdrawal fee that they set when they open the account.
“So when you set up the account, you can determine how much access you want to your savings.”
Fender and Sundermeier also like the app because it provides the user with alerts along the way so they know how close they are to their goal or can get encouragement to continue to save.
“You can also see the community when you log on to see what they are saving for,” adds Fender. “The app is very social, so you can see that this person is saving for a new pair of shoes, or a car. Some people have it set up to save for an emergency fund, so it is different for everyone.”
Users can also see how long each community member is taking to reach their goal. For instance, one person is striving to save $1,060 for a “rainy day” in the next 12 months, whereas another person is saving $540 for a car in a year.
Plinqit members can also earn a few bucks on the app for taking a financial literacy course online. Most courses take less than five minutes to view via the app, and the user gets up to 15 cents added to their goal for completing the course.
The bank is currently promoting the app during conversations with customers, and has also talked about the app on the radio and television. “We haven’t measured the ROI yet but will continue to watch as these deposits grow and customer relationships grow,” Sundermeier says.
“We’ve seen a high adoption rate since introducing it in February 2018, and adoption spans a wide age range. While the app was intended mainly for millennials, we are seeing high adoption with our customers ages 40 and 50-plus, too.
Source: Leah Fender, Marketing Specialist; Roger Sundermeier, Jr.,SVP, Chief Brand Officer; First Arkansas Bank and Trust, Jacksonville, AR; phone (501)985-4067; e-mail email@example.com.