Skip to main content

What’s The Big Deal About Bank of America’s “Keep The Change” Promotion ?

If you have watched this wonderful talk by Rory Sutherland “TED Talk : Rory Sutherland: Life lessons from an ad man”, you must have seen this big Red button, showed while explaining that “interface” determines the behavior.

image

Paraphrasing a bit, “if there is a large red button on a wall in your home and every time you press this button it will save you $50, then you will save a lot. Because interface fundamentally determines our behavior. Marketing has done a very very good job of creating opportunities for impulse buying but never for impulse saving”.

And of course, as he admits, that is against consumerism and act against the very ambitions of companies that create these advertisements, so probably will never build such an interface.

So, when a company says they built an interface that makes saving money a lot easier, you better bring your instincts and not believe it at once.

When I saw the promotional advertisement “Keep the change” by Bank Of America that will make saving a lot easier, I did not believe it. It almost looked like that “simple red button” interface that could help you save more.

Well, its not. More over, this is a perfect example of marketing mentioned in that presentation. I went on to its website and read here the details of “Keep the change”.

Basically, when you pay with your charge card, BoA will round up to the nearest dollar and put those (your own) pennies in to a savings account.  What it means? BoA wants you to spend dollars with their charge card more so that you can save ‘your own pennies’ more. Of course, first 3 months they will match those pennies 100% and 5% afterwards. And the tag line, “keep the change” try to infer that you may loose the change if you don’t enroll in this program. Isn’t it true that you always keep your change?

And here is one thing to remember. If those pennies add up to a significant amount, if you think or BoA thinks, then your checking account is also depleted faster now. Here is the magic part. Now, if you accidentally run over your balance even by a few pennies, you may attract a hefty overdraft fee, which wouldn’t have happened if you had left those pennies in your checking account.

Hmmmmm!!!!!!!!!!!!

A better way to save money is if Bank of America offer to move some pennies automatically and for free from Savings account to the Charge card when it runs out so that customers don’t have to pay about $35 or more in overdraft fee to cover say 35 cents over the balance.

If they can move money from Checking to Savings for free, why can’t they offer to move money from Savings to Checking when needed for free.

What do you think?

Popular posts from this blog

You Are What You Think People Think About You

There are about 6.7 Billion people in this world that we know of.  Whether you believe in ‘Creation’ or ‘Evolution’, this human race started with a tiny number. It is quite amazing to see how fast it multiplies. What is more amazing is that every single individual in that 6 billion crowd is born ‘unique’.  Quite literally, you are born to be one in a billion, whether you believe it or not. “ This was the Introduction to my latest and last speech in Toast Masters club, ‘One in a Billion’ as part of International Speech contest. 
As much as I believe that each one of us can be that 'one in a billion' personality, I admit the reality as I perceive it and some times feel alone in that belief.
A famous quote says 'You are what you think'. It is also true that 'you are what you think people think about you'. If you think people think you are smart, then you act smart and become smart. If you think people think you are dumb, you will become dumb even if you are not, a…

Cooking looks like an unforgiving art

When you are writing software, you always get a second chance. In fact, lots of chances to get it correct. You have compiler warnings, failed test cases and some times crashes alert you that something is not right and will give you a chance to correct. And you get literally unlimited chances to apply those corrections. 
Well, cooking looks to be totally unforgiving in this respect and on any given day, you may get just one chance to get it right. If you fail, you fail. Try again right away if you have patience of starting it all over. Or start over some time later or next day. But not much of a second chance to correct a mistake. 
More ruthless, when it comes to salt. If you put just a little more, even a tiny little more, it never hesitate to show what it got. Totally ruthless. End result will be a failed dish that no one will be able (and/or happy) to eat. And most dishes, you may not be able to add something little more to offset it.

Little trick I learned the hard way, start on …

Just For Fun : India’s Super Computer

This is a T-shirt I bought almost 10 years ago that depicts the Lord Ganesha as India’s super computer. It was so much fun wearing it then as it used to grab everybody’s attention. And in my recent trip, I recovered it and wore again yesterday. It grabbed everybody’s attention as usual.Look at the mighty RAM he got. 256MB RAM.  Well it was quite a bit of RAM 10 years back. Thanks to Harish for taking a quick snap and sharing it. The iPhone he used got lot more power and memory than one the best computers of that time. That says it all.I guess, I should pull out all my T’s with messages and post it. May be myself and those around me that time could relive some of those wonderful moments.