Credit Union-Based Program Rewards Good Financial Behavior, Offers Consumer-Friendly Loans and Savings Accounts
HOUSTON, October 13, 2015 – Aiming to make financial education engaging for corporate employees and motivate them toward responsible and beneficial financial behavior, PerkUp today introduced itself to the market as a new company with a novel concept.
PerkUp delivers its products – information, advice, entertainment, and prizes
(perks) for participation – at no charge to companies and their employees. The PerkUp program is designed to be offered by a sponsoring credit union, so that the credit union can build relationships with the organizations and the people who work for them.
Individuals can sign up with PerkUp and take quizzes, play games, and take part in other activities that help them learn more about how to manage their money and save for their future. They can win rewards and perks not only for the learning activities, but for their financial actions as well. They earn extra perks by adding to their savings accounts or contributing to the company 401K.
If they want to start savings accounts or take out loans – avoiding high-cost options such as payday loans – a simple click will connect them to an online portal where they can join the sponsoring credit union, open savings accounts, and take out socially responsible loans without having to visit a credit union branch.
PerkUp is a newly formed subsidiary of Dolphin Debit, the full-service ATM management company that has strong relationships throughout the credit union and banking industry. It uses an innovative, credit union-customized and branded technology platform to provide individuals with financial tools that help them make smart choices with their money.
“We saw a way to help the hundreds of credit union clients we work with take advantage of the growing interest in employee financial wellness by companies of all sizes,” explained Ben Allen, President of Dolphin Debit. “While PerkUp and Dolphin Debit will operate separately, what we have in common is advancing the interests of credit unions.”
Jonathan Harrison, Chief Financial Educator of PerkUp, explained that “We put credit unions at the heart of PerkUp because we know they care about individuals’ personal financial health. They are in the best position to help their members save for their future or take out sensible loans.
“Because credit unions are the foundation for the PerkUp activities, they stand to benefit from new members, new accounts, and more loan activity.”
Harrison said that the prizes offered through the PerkUp program will entice employees to take part, and the tone and presentation of the materials will help them learn more about a subject that can often be incredibly boring. It offers clear benefits to everyone involved – employees, employers, and credit unions.
Employees can access PerkUp from special computer kiosks located inside their companies or via their personal computers or mobile devices. Often their companies are already affiliated with a specific credit union. However, if a company wants to offer PerkUp to employees as a financial wellness program but isn’t affiliated with a credit union, PerkUp will match them up with one.
Leading PerkUp are three key executives:
- Toby Salsman, Chief Technology Officer, heads PerkUp’s technology development, design, infrastructure, and operations. He has more than 15 years of executive leadership experience in the financial services industry. He was previously Senior Vice President of Payments for Columbus Data Services, where he led information services, data warehousing, business intelligence, online transaction processing, and support operations. Earlier in his career, he had lead developer and system administrator roles at the U.S. Court of Appeals Fifth Circuit, Appro Software, and First NBC. He has a degree in computer science from the University of New Orleans.
- Jonathan Harrison, Product Lead, is a financial education professional, social entrepreneur, and one of the foremost experts on workplace financial wellness. He has developed PerkUp’s customized financial education and retirement education program and its focus on a positive impact for both credit union sponsors and participants. In 2010, Harrison founded Emerge Financial Wellness to provide financial education and access to credit building programs through large employers as an innovative employee benefit. That company’s innovative online platform provided significant financial knowledge and retention gain for participants. He has an MBA from Yale with a concentration in nonprofit management.
- Ra’Shaud Haines, Chief Lending Director, has more than 10 years of consumer and commercial lending experience. He previously served as vice president at Liberty Bank, leading the FDIC Small Dollar Loan Pilot Program, which provided responsible small loans to individuals and offered “workplace” loans through medium-sized and large companies. This program helped thousands of individuals who would have otherwise been reliant on predatory lending. He has a degree in business administration from Morehouse College and an MBA from Loyola University.
PerkUp uses an innovative technology platform that incorporates monthly rewards and behavioral finance tools to engage employees in financial wellness. Employees who use the PerkUp program earn prizes by achieving financial education milestones and they can easily open accounts at the sponsoring credit union and even take out loans via the PerkUp online portal. PerkUp adheres to best practice guidelines from Center for Responsible Lending, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and the National Credit Union Association. PerkUp is a subsidiary of Dolphin Debit, the leading full-service ATM management company for credit unions and banks. For more information, visit myperkup.com.
Dux Public Relations