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Three Wash. CUs OK prize-linked savings
FEDERAL WAY, Wash. (9/4/12)--The boards of three Washington state credit unions have signed on to support a 2013 launch of prize-linked savings programs in the state, according to the Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA).

The credit unions are TwinStar CU in Olympia, Connection CU in Silverdale, and O Bee CU, Tumwater.

Prize-linked savings accounts allow consumers to build assets while earning chances to win monthly or annual cash prizes.

Additional Washington credit unions are considering the programs, said Lynn Heider, vice president of communications and public relations for NWCUA (Anthem Recap Aug. 30).

"The programs are definitely picking up traction in Nebraska, where after launching just seven months ago in 10 credit unions, members have saved over $1.1 million," Heider said, noting that Michigan's Save to Win program is offered by more than 40 credit unions to more than 16,000 members.

The Michigan Credit Union League (MCUL), which launched its program in 2009, will work with NWCUA to operate the Washington program. MCUL, which also operates Nebraska's program, has estimated that at least six Washington credit unions would be needed to launch the program successfully in 2013.

NWCUA said that if the program takes off in Washington, it will fund a prize pool offering multiple monthly prizes as well as an annual prize for three years. In addition to the operating structure, Michigan also will provide marketing materials and other support.


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