Magazine article American Banker

MoneyMaker Electronic Transfer Firm Says Sweepstakes Will Boost ATM Usage

Magazine article American Banker

MoneyMaker Electronic Transfer Firm Says Sweepstakes Will Boost ATM Usage

Article excerpt

MoneyMaker Electronic Transfer Firm Says Sweepstakes Will Boost ATM Usage

To increase usage of its off-premise automated teller machines, MoneyMaker EFT Services has kicked off another sweepstakes, its fourth since the network was established two years ago.

A three-way venture with KVIL-FM Radio in Dallas and Dallas-based Southland Corp.--owner of 7-Eleven convenience stores where MoneyMaker operates about 650 ATMs--MoneyMaker is offering participants 100 $1,000 prizes if their numbered ATM transaction tickets match those called over KVIL-FM airwaves. A grand prize of $50,000 will be paid out when the contest ends Sept. 1.

MoneyMaker, a subsidiary of the $2.4 billion-deposit First Texas Savings Association, Dallas, has 22 member institutions, including Gibraltar Savings Association, which it acquired in 1984. About 140,000 cardholders are registered to use its network of 775 ATMs.

Promotions like the KVIL sweepstakes, MoneyMaker said, increase usage during the game period and after. For example, the company said ATM usage increased by 30% in the Dallas market during the May run of "the Sure Thing,' a 7-Eleven ATM contest often resurrected by the network. Sure Thing awarded ATM users prizes like cups of coffee or soda, $5, $10, $100, or $1,000.

MoneyMaker estimates that as of its latest monthly transaction report, 50% to 65% of Sure Thing players are still using the 7-Eleven ATMSs.

The style in which MoneyMaker conducts its contests has earned the grudging respect of one of its strongest competitors, MTech Corp., the data processing subsidiary of MCorp, Dallas.

"They're smart marketers,' said Bob Heckman, executive vice president of marketing for MTech, which runs MPact, another Texas shared ATM network.

Mr. Heckman, who said he would like nothing better than "to put a sign up in [MoneyMaker's] window saying, "Don't use MoneyMaker ATMs, use ours,'' but acknowledged, nonetheless, that "they have a very aggressive stance, and we take our hats off to them.'

Similar, but Not as Successful

MTech itself runs contests similar to the Sure Thing, but without the success MoneyMaker claims. According to Mr. Heckman, a sweepstakes dubbed "MPact Madness' conducted throughout Texas last summer by MTech resulted in a 21% rise in usage at its 300 ATMs located in Safeway supermarkets. Mr. Heckman said the game offered players "basic things' like free ice cream cones and hamburgers. This year, he said, he'll wait for ATM players "to get all warmed up' with MoneyMaker's game, and then "[MTech] will come in with a killer program, maybe offering people their son's weight in gold. …

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