Keeping The Change

25 Oct 2005|Darrel Rhea

Despite devoting my meaningful work life to helping companies create meaningful innovations in products and services, I must admit that once in a while I am surprised when a financial institution comes up with a new service that is truly different and not just another marketing trick. This one is Bank of America’s new Keep The Change™ program.

Only recently launched, this is indeed meaningful to its potential users, meeting the criteria we delineated in our book Making Meaning (which is soon to be launched itself). And, in this case, it’s meaningful not just for each individual consumer, but ultimately – if it kicks off and becomes broadly successful – can be meaningful to our savings-starved economy.

What is Keep The Change and how does it work? It’s an electronic rendition of what some of my buddies did for years – every time they had a handful of change, they tossed it into a jar and when the jar was full, they rolled the coins and banked them. This is a little less visible, but equally painless way to save for consumers who buy with a debit card: the electronic debit card system rounds up on the cost of the purchase to the nearest dollar and stuffs the difference into the holder’s savings account.

What I like about it is that it helps people to save because of, not in spite of, the spendy behaviors we have learned over the last couple of decades. The more you buy, the more you save. How cool is that? Makes me wanna go debit a latte.

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