Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Gen Y Gets a "Virtual Wallet"

PNC Financial Services of Pittsburgh is attracting 130 new customers a day with its "Virtual Wallet" program.

Developed specifically to attract Generation Y customers (defined by PNC as ages 18 - 34), the program has signed up more than 20,000 Virtual Wallet customers since July 2008. 65% of these customers are new and 70% are in the Gen Y demographic.

The online program offers 3 account types - Spend, Reserve and Growth accounts. Customers use a financial calendar to track bill reminders, account balances, and hi-light "Danger Days" that alert the customer to overdraft risk. The Money Bar and Savings Engine allow customers to drag and drop money from one account to another, pay bills and set savings goals.

Profit comes in different ways. The bank charges a fee if more than 3 checks are written on the account monthly. The account pays 0.1% interest on checking accounts vs. the national average of 1.25%. They do pay 3% on the Savings Account, but limit deposits to less than $25,000.

With a cost of $15 million, PNC expects the project to break even in two years, compared to a three-year break even for their new branch locations.