FARMERS BRANCH, Texas (7/2/08)--Filene Research Institute’s MatriMoney initiative is a wedding cash gift registry for newly engaged couples that acts as a savings account guests can contribute toward. The gift-giving program is a way to attract younger members to credit unions, according to the Texas Credit Union league (LoneStar Leaguer June 30). Since June 2006, when Mountain America started the program, the credit union has had more than 300 registrants open accounts, with more than $400,000 in deposits, she added. The credit union has loaned $700,000 through the program. Mountain America FCU’s success stories in introducing the MatriMoney program are the subject of a Filene podcast. In it, Annette Zimmerman, senior vice president of the $2.301 billion asset, West Jordan, Utah-based credit union, is interviewed by Filene’s Maureen Maddox. Because no other establishment offers this type of service, the MatriMoney concept is a crucial service for the credit union to offer potential members, Zimmerman said. Also, 38% of MatriMoney participants at Mountain America have become new members of the credit union. In addition to Matimoney’s basic savings account concept, the credit union also added a secondary checking account which allows money to be given via the Internet, and a specially tailored debit card, depicting wedding rings, which started conversations and stimulated public interest. Both of these features contributed to the success of the program, Zimmerman said. “It’s a great marketing opportunity and a great way to brand our credit union,” Zimmerman said. MatriMoney’s generational approach and appeal also have led to interest in mortgage assistance, car loans and other services at the credit union that closely fit the needs of newlyweds, Zimmerman said.