(March 9, 2011 – Brooklyn, NY) Brooklyn Cooperative Federal Credit Union, a low-income designated community development credit union (CDCU) in Brooklyn, NY, is a member in a partnership that recently received a $300,000 grant from the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) to pilot Piggymojo to new and existing account holders, in an attempt to boost participants’ savings balances.
The Piggymojo program uses goal visualization, social commitments, mobile and online technology, to help consumers quantify and enjoy the act of not buying.
Research has shown that while impulse buying provides momentary satisfaction, it often hinders savings efforts and contributes to personal debt, so the goal of this project is to help the credit union’s low-income members increase their savings by motivating and enabling them to make “impulse saves” that retain the satisfaction element of impulse buying without the financial costs. By integrating the Piggymojo solution with Brooklyn Cooperative’s core processing platform, members’ impulse saves result in money actually moving from their checking account into a savings account.
“Our credit union serves Bushwick and Bedford-Stuyvesant, two highly underserved, low-income neighborhoods in Central Brooklyn,” explained Brooklyn Cooperative FCU CEO Samira Rajan, “As a young community development credit union, the reach of our programs has often been limited to those members that physically come into the branch and take advantage of our services, including financial literacy education and counseling, free tax preparation through our volunteer income tax assistance program, and so on... This grant changes that dynamic by allowing us to offer a mobile application that any of our members can take advantage of regardless of where they are. We’re very excited to see how our members will take to this new program, and what kind of impact it will have on their financial habits,” she added.
The Center for Community Capital at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill will study how Piggymojo promotes the financial capability of Brooklyn Cooperative members. Brooklyn Cooperative FCU’s non-profit affiliate, Grow Brooklyn, will collaborate in this partnership to bring this unique program to community members.
CFSI selected just five cutting-edge projects to receive $1.5 million total in grant support from among 246 applications totaling more than $67 million in requests. Organizations from more than 44 states responded to the request for proposals released in September 2010.
Brooklyn Cooperative FCU has been a member of the Federation since it was chartered in 2000, and has grown to over $10.4 million in assets and serving more than 7,000 low- and moderate-income members in Central Brooklyn.
© 2011 National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions.