Today’s highly competitive environment has made it even more crucial that community financial institutions leverage every advantage they have to meet the evolving needs of consumers. To help do so, Kasasa provides products and services that deliver superior value. Its free, rewards-based checking and savings accounts require no minimum balance and enable community banks and credit unions to increase non-interest income, reduce overall expenses and compete with megabanks.
Free, rewards-based accounts are critical for today’s institutions. In fact, according to Kasasa's 2016 Consumer Banking Insights (CBI) Study conducted by The Harris Poll, the overwhelming majority of Americans (96%) across all generations say no fees banking is important when choosing a financial institution for their everyday banking needs. Moreover, nearly three in four Americans (73%) would switch institutions if one offered more or better rewards than another.
Consumers expect superior service from their financial institution, coupled with innovative products and services that provide compelling value. With Kasasa’s rewards accounts, community banks and credit unions not only offer products and services that meet those expectations, but also provide substantial value to the institution itself.
This has been the case for Tonica, IL-based Illini State Bank.
After over 100 years in the area, Illini State Bank remains locally owned and operated. All decisions are made by management and a board of directors comprised of local individuals. It is because of the integrity, astute business decisions and support of its many loyal customers that Illini State Bank has continued to be a financially sound bank to support its communities. The bank’s stability is proven by its four locations, approximately $125 million in total assets, and a consistent 5-star bank ranking by Bauer Financials for nearly 30 years.
As a pillar within its community, Illini State Bank recognized its need to deliver an innovative consumer deposit product that would stand out to attract, engage and retain account holders.
Additionally, in 2017, Illini State Bank opened a Loan Production Office to expand its footprint and take further steps in growing the bank. This new office has experienced substantial loan volume growth. As a result, the bank was in need of funding the asset side of its balance sheet with sticky, core deposits to continue to increase loan volume. Furthermore, the bank was looking to replace some of the brokered deposits it obtained through its growth period with core deposits.
Illini State Bank tapped Kasasa for its rewards-based accounts, realizing that Kasasa could help drive them towards relationship-based deposits that typically outperform core deposits.
“We have competition everywhere, just as all other financial institutions do, but Kasasa can help develop a winning consumer strategy,” said Alan Stremlau, CEO of Illini State Bank.
This is especially crucial as customer expectations shift and a new generation of customers emerge.
Stremlau added, “We’re in the midst of a period where the greatest transfer of wealth is occurring to the next generations. Kasasa is a recognizable brand name product we can use to market ourselves to attract the younger customer base and retain them.”
With Kasasa, community banks and credit unions are able to compete more than ever before by harnessing product development and marketing scale previously reserved for the nation’s largest banks.
To attract and retain customers and increase deposits, Illini State Bank began offering Kasasa Cash® for the high interest and ATM refunds, Kasasa Cash Back® for cash back rewards, and Kasasa Saver® to improve retention. The bank is also offering Kasasa Protect™ for ID protection and restoration.
With Kasasa Cash and Kasasa Cash Back, Illini State Bank can grow low-cost core deposits and incentivize customers to engage in profitable behavior, ultimately allowing the bank to rely on lower-cost transactional accounts instead of other expensive funding sources. Additionally, Illini State Bank wanted to attract younger customers, making Kasasa Cash Back and ATM refunds on withdrawal fees desirable offerings.
Kasasa Saver helps Illini State Bank improve customer retention by complementing Kasasa Cash and Kasasa Cash Back and by helping customers automate their savings. Monthly rewards are placed in high-yield accounts allowing their savings and loyalty to stack up while providing the bank with an ultra-low-cost funding source. Kasasa Protect gives account holders peace of mind with identity protection and restoration.
“The staff is thrilled to have a product suite like this to better attract and retain deposit customers,” said Stremlau.
In addition to its products, Illini State Bank was impressed with the support from the Kasasa team.
“The launch team and training modules have been excellent to get us prepared,” said Stremlau. “The Kasasa team is organized, and they were very communicative in guiding us toward implementation with regular meetings and follow-ups. Our on-site trainer was excellent in providing clarity on the products and motivating the staff towards reassurance that this is a product that will succeed. It has been a great experience for us.”
Kasasa is committed to superior service. As a result, the Kasasa brand continues to grow, enabling community financial institutions like Illini State Bank to increase competitiveness among megabanks, especially as consumer sentiment of larger financial institutions remains low, and grow deposits to support lending activity.
“I encourage other bankers to at last evaluate the Kasasa product suite to see if it would be a fit for them,” concluded Stremlau.