Take your pick: Three percent interest on your checking account or $10 in iTunes downloads every month.
It was an easy choice for Tim Klapac, 20, who opted for the latter.
The College Park resident says his iTunes library has grown to include nearly 800 songs since he signed up for the Kasasa Tunes program at Money One Federal Credit Union a year ago.
“Online purchases are huge for people my age, and this is just so convenient,” Klapac said.
Largo-based Money One began offering the Kasasa Tunes program nearly two years ago in hopes of attracting younger members.
There are no monthly fees or balance minimums, but members must use their debit card at least 10 times a month and sign up for online banking to receive rewards.
“We saw that our checking account growth was very stagnant,” said Debbie Connors, president and chief executive of Money One. “We knew we had to look at things differently.”
Connors turned to BancVue, an Austin-based company that created the Kasasa rewards program in 2009 to help community banks and credit unions compete with banking giants such as Bank of America and Chase.
“On their own, community banks look disjointed and rinky-dink in comparison to mega banks,” said Gabe Krajicek, chief executive of BancVue. “Having a national brand like Kasasa gives them a bigger voice.”
Community banks pay a monthly licensing fee to use Kasasa software, and contribute a portion of their advertising budget to BancVue.
Kasasa Tunes “ is a great way to target Gen. Y members,” said Laura Harding, vice president of marketing at Aspire Federal Credit Union, which has a branch in Leesburg. “Everybody has an i-thing these days: iPods, iPads, iPhones.”
Klapac, who recently bought an iPhone, writes down the names of songs he likes on the radio throughout the month and buys them on iTunes once the $10 Kasasa credit has been added to his account. He said he tends to buy six or seven songs, generally priced at 99 cents or $1.29, at a time.
“This type of credit just feels special,” said Klapac, whose twin brother and 22-year-old sister have also signed up for Kasasa Tunes accounts.
At Money One, about 50 of the credit union’s 12,400 members are enrolled in the iTunes program. About 900, though, have opted for Kasasa Cash, which offers members 3.01 percent interest on checking account balances up to $10,000, as well as refunds on ATM fees in exchange for using a debit card and signing up for direct deposit and online banking.
Connors said the number of new checking accounts at the credit union has increased four-fold in recent months.
“The College Park crowd is definitely signing up for iTunes,” Connors said. “But the older members, they’re still more impressed by the massive interest rate.”