FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ICBA Bancard Incentive Program Big Success
Washington, D.C. (Oct. 26, 2004)—ICBA Bancard, the payments services subsidiary of the Independent Community Bankers of America, is pleased to announce that over 300 community banks that participated in its credit card incentive campaign cumulatively opened thousands of new Visa accounts over the three-month promotion period.
The campaign, which ran from May 1 through July 31, rewarded community banks with cash incentives for new account and sales growth. ICBA Bancard timed the incentive to coincide with Visa’s spring/summer national promotion, Visa World Shopping Tour. “ICBA Bancard is committed to the prosperity of community banks,” says David Hayes, ICBA Bancard chairman and president and CEO of Security Bank in Dyersburg, Tenn. “We felt it was important to devise a campaign that would supply participants with a free ‘marketing program in a box.’”
Diane Salmon, Vice President of National Promotions and Loyalty Marketing at Visa USA, says that the Visa World Shopping Tour was designed to help issuers increase Visa card usage and meet their business objectives. She explains, “When cardholders used their Visa card during the promotion period they were automatically entered into a sweepstakes for a chance to win a world shopping tour to three domestic or international cities from a selected list, including New York, Tokyo, Buenos Aires, and Paris. Visa additionally awarded 500 first prize winners each a $100 Simon Mall Gift Card.” Four community banks that issue their Visa credit cards through ICBA Bancard had first prize winners.
ICBA Bancard Senior Vice President Scott Broughton developed and executed the incentive program. “ICBA Bancard acquired in-branch collateral materials that supported Visa World Shopping Tour and distributed a supply to participating banks,” he said. “We also purchased statement inserts for our issuers and sent them bi-weekly emails with marketing tips and tactics.”
First International Bank and Trust in Watford City, N.D., participated in the incentive program. Cindy Bellet, the bank’s bankcard manager, says that First International encouraged its employees to sell its Visa cards with cash incentives, vacation days, and rewards points for opening new accounts. “Each branch had a goal to reach along with a bank wide goal,” she said. “Most offices met their goal and the bank wide goal was met.”
On average, participating banks increased their number of new accounts by over 17 percent, compared with the same period last year. “This growth is a testament to the power of in-branch marketing, not to mention the viability of community banks’ credit card offerings,” Broughton said. “Every community bank that participated in the incentive program will receive a check for increased sales volume or new account growth.”
About ICBA Bancard & TCM Bank, N.A.TM
ICBA Bancard is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Independent Community Bankers of America, "The Nation's Leading Voice for Community Banks." Since 1985, ICBA Bancard has provided more than 2,000 community banks with equitable access to payment system products and services. In addition to ATM, credit and debit cards, banks have access to merchant services, ATM driving, risk management services, Internet banking and marketing services.
In 1998, ICBA Bancard founded TCM Bank, N.A. The bank exists to meet the needs of community banks that wish to participate in the credit card market and to help them protect their customer relationships by offering a competitive, professionally managed agent bank card program, Total Card Management. For issuers wishing to exit the credit card business, TCM Bank purchases portfolios, but keeps each bank's identity before its customers through the agent program.