PORTLAND, Ore. — Point West Credit Union is leveraging the popularity of a local restaurant as an enticement for its members to use its new mobile deposit service.

The $91 million credit union launched mobile deposit thorough its mobile banking app on Jan. 10. According to Steve Pagenstecher, marketing and member experience manager, the initial adoption rate was "pretty good." Within the first two weeks, 65 members had used mobile deposit to make a total of 97 deposits.

But Pagenstecher wanted to drive even more use. As is the case with many good ideas, what began as a bit of a joke during a brainstorming session soon blossomed into a usable marketing concept.

"Someone said what if we encourage people to use mobile deposit similar to a radio contest that awards the 13th caller with a prize," he recalled. "We had picked up a package of 10 gift cards for local restaurants at a charity auction. The package included a $100 gift card for Le Pigeon, which is a pretty well-known restaurant here in Portland, and even nationwide, because of the owner, Gabriel Rucker. Le Pigeon has been on several Food Network programs and Rucker is a celebrity chef. Le Pigeon is close to our office, so it all came together."

E-mail To Members
On Jan. 27, Point West CU members received an e-mail with the following text:

"We are so happy to see that so many of you have already taken the Mobile Deposit plunge. But we know that many more of you out there could benefit from this great new service as well — and we're happy to entice you to try it!

"When we hit 1,000 mobile deposits received, we'll be giving away a $100 gift certificate to Portland's award-winning Le Pigeon restaurant. How do you enter? Simple — just make a mobile deposit via the Point West Mobile Banking app, and with every successful deposit, you're automatically entered. The more deposits you make, the more entries you receive!

"So what are you waiting for? Fire up the Point West Mobile Banking app and start using Mobile Deposit today. If you are new to Mobile Deposit, don't forget to check out our Mobile Deposit User Guide to get started. Don't have the app yet? It's available from the iTunes App Store or Google Play Store for your compatible Apple or Android device. Good luck and happy depositing!"

Numbers Doubled
Soon after the announcement, the number of mobile deposits doubled, Pagenstecher noted.

"The promotion is doing exactly what we wanted it to — it is increasing the number of people using mobile deposit and the frequency it is being used."

The credit union created a 10-page "user guide" that shows how Barney Rubble would remotely deposit a check from Fred Flintstone.

Going forward, PWCU will update members on the numbers and will let them know when total mobile deposits gets close to 1,000, Pagenstecher added.

"We are doing this on the cheap," he said. "We have an integrated e-mail system already in place to send member notifications, and we already had the gift card. All it takes is the time for someone to write out the e-mail."

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