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Shell FCU's BE GREEN Reward Checking has Low Penetration and CU OK with That
Monday, August 4, 2014 6:55 AM

About four years ago, Shell FCU rolled out a high-yield reward BE GREEN Checking account, and today, about 8 percent of the membership is taking advantage of the product. Shell FCU CFO Elizabeth Monroy tells the Leaguer that because of the credit union’s current liquidity position, they’ve been happy with maintaining a low penetration in this product.

“If members want, we have it to give, but we would need to roll it back if money started pouring into it,” she notes. “Projecting the financial impact of this is extremely difficult, so slow is good.”

When developing the BE GREEN Checking account, Monroy says the credit union wanted to offer a competitive alternative to high yielding bank products.

“Developing an account to offer rewards for going ‘green’ made sense,” she tells the Leaguer. “BE Green provides members with rewards in return for monthly electronic usage.”

While Shell FCU offers a totally free checking, Monroy says the uniqueness of BE Green is its rewards. The BE GREEN Checking account offers a 2.18 percent APY and refunds for ATM fees if the monthly requirements are met. Features include $1 minimum to open the account; no minimum balance and no monthly service charge.

In order to take advantage of these rewards, members must make 20 debit transactions a month; have direct deposit or one automatic payment; receive e-statements, and use online banking.

“For Shell FCU, the cost of the reward is offset by the decreased cost of paper statements and increased interchange from transactions and helps with member retention,” Monroy adds. “We see this as a win-win.”