ChoiceOne Bank’s primary challenge was revenue optimization – acquiring low-cost deposits, writing good loans and creating long-lasting relationships, all with the goal to build and grow the business. The bank had primarily relied on its branch network and traditional marketing tactics, like signage, to attract customers.
While many consumers still prefer the branch, most consumers are becoming agnostic – many of the bank’s customers still visit the branch but still expect a superior digital experience – making it critical that ChoiceOne look beyond traditional marketing methods. The bank needed a way to more effectively get in front of customers to cross sell rather than knock them over the head with a checking account pitch that would likely turn them away.
The solution was a new type of savings app.
In January 2018, ChoiceOne Bank launched Plinqit, a brandable, mobile first platform that is elegant and highly powerful at the same time. The app enables customers to securely link their Plinqit account to their checking account, set a savings goal and automatically set aside a small amount of money at a rate and schedule the customer chooses. The account opening process is seamless, taking less than five minutes.
Unlike any other savings app on the market, its patent-pending Build Skills™ pays users for engaging with content, creating higher user engagement for financial institutions and improved financial literacy for users with a reward. ChoiceOne’s customers simply watch an educational video or read an article from the Plinqit library, take a short quiz and Plinqit adds money toward their savings goal as a reward.
For banks like ChoiceOne, the app increases deposits by bringing in new relationships and increasing engagement. Additionally, it provides cross-sell opportunities through meaningful insights with data and analytics. Compared to traditional savings accounts, it also offers significantly lower operating costs.
Since offering Plinqit, ChoiceOne Bank has realized significant benefits. The bank has grown total Plinqit users significantly month-over-month with over $130,000 in total deposits, resulting in an average savings goal of $1,100 per account. Also, many of its customers have already reached their goal, with the majority (80 percent) creating new goals to continue saving. The bank’s website is also seeing an increase in traffic, with more than 100,000 hits per month.
The bank’s employees have also noted major benefits since offering Plinqit. Customer are self-serviced, reducing the time and resources spent by employees to onboard. Additionally, because of the high engagement, cross-selling has become a more seamless process.
Furthermore, Plinqit provides a more cost-efficient customer acquisition strategy for savings accounts and equips ChoiceOne Bank with marketing support and exclusivity rights for marketing in certain zip codes. Because Plinqit absorbs costs and charges a lower fee, ChoiceOne is able to engage with customers in a profitable way. On all sides, Plinqit has created a better way to interact with customers and satisfy their digital banking needs.
“The difference between Plinqit and a traditional savings account is that Plinqit has higher rewards and a great user experience,” said Adom Greenland, COO of ChoiceOne Bank. “Our customers love it and keep saving and engaging. With Plinqit, we’re helping them reach their goals and foster stronger relationships, evidenced by the number of account openings and the amount saved. We are impressed with the success so far and expect to be opening more Plinqit accounts than regular savings accounts by the end of the summer.”
Plinqit is a brandable, mobile first platform that is elegant and highly powerful at the same time. Unlike any other savings app on the market, its patent-pending Build Skills™ pays users for engaging with content, creating higher user engagement for financial institutions. Created by Millennials for Millennials, Plinqit helps financial institutions connect with this important demographic in a meaningful, relevant way – bringing together digital customers, FI’s and savings in one beautiful place. For more information, visit www.plinqit.com.
ChoiceOne Financial Services, Inc. is a financial holding company headquartered in Sparta, Michigan and the parent corporation of ChoiceOne Bank, Member FDIC. ChoiceOne Bank operates 14 full-service offices in parts of Kent, Ottawa, Muskegon, and Newaygo Counties. ChoiceOne Bank offers insurance and investment products through its subsidiary, ChoiceOne Insurance Agencies, Inc. ChoiceOne Financial Services, Inc. common stock is quoted on the OTC under the symbol “COFS.” For more information, please visit Investor Relations at ChoiceOne’s website at www.choiceone.com.