12 Banks Help Schools Get Rebates on Books through Marketing Pact with Amazon.Com

Article excerpt

A dozen Midwestern community banks and credit unions have reached deals with Amazon.com in an attempt to attract more traffic to their budding Web sites.

The banks are asking local schools -- from elementary to college -- to buy books from Amazon through a link on the banks' Web sites. The perk for schools is that they earn a 3% rebate for each purchase made by students and their families from Amazon. Those funds can be used at the discretion of school officials.

The initiative was launched last month. The banks are taking advantage of a free marketing alliance offered to various companies by Amazon. Wells Fargo & Co. of San Francisco and KeyCorp. of Cleveland are the only other banking companies to use the program, an Amazon.com spokeswoman said.

Though the banks do not earn a dime from the partnership, they are encouraged by the potential increase in use of their Web sites.

"This could help our Web page become more interactive with the community," said Barrett J. O'Connor, president of Elgin Financial Savings Bank, a $440 million-asset company that operates three branches in the outlying Chicago suburbs. …