The P.A.

A weekly address from Patrick Adams,
President of St. Louis Community Credit Union

The More You Use Your Debit Card, The More We Can Do For You

On January 3rd, 2012, posted in: Uncategorized by

Nielsen is the company that measures lots of stuff.  They are probably best known for figuring out what TV shows we watch the most.  If you made it on the Nielsen’s Top Ten list, TV executives could charge astronomical advertising rates to companies to sell their wares on your show.  Let me go all old-school on you for a second: imagine the rate for a commercial on the Ed Sullivan Show the week the Beatles debuted!

Nielsen recently measured the frequency of household shopping trips.  Yep, as a society we are apparently interested in how many times you bundle up, fire up the horseless carriage and head off to the store to do a little shopping.  It’s 160 times per year.  Yep, every 2.28 days – which is about every 55 hours, or just over three times per week we feel the need to grace the inside of a store.  OMG!

I was floored by this frequency.  Even with gas prices being north of $3 per gallon, we still head out to the store this much.  It must be right because the Nielsen people are the best at such data retrieval.  But I asked the expert – my wife.  She confirmed that this seems about right to her.  I knew she was gone a lot, but I had no clue that the magnetism of the local grocer was so great.  You know my next question: how much do you spend each trip? 

Well, Nielsen had that data, too.  It turns out that, on average, each shopping trip rings a cash register for about $40.  Forty bucks?  Every trip?  No wonder my allowance hasn’t gone up in years.

After I picked my brain up off the floor from the quantification of 160 trips times $40 per visit, I started thinking about what this means in other respects.  As an example, if you live in a densely populated neighborhood where there are 5,000 homes, it’s no wonder that retail strip malls keep popping up like weeds through the sidewalk.  If you’re a retailer, you have a shot at some percentage of 800,000 visits per year.  WOW!!  If you’re Wal-Mart, how many of those 160 visits make it through your doors?  No wonder there’s a strategically-located Wal-Mart every few miles.

From St. Louis Community Credit Union’s perspective, we have 30,000 checking account holders.  Each of you has a debit card.  If you use your debit card for 100 percent of your purchases and we receive debit interchange income of 16 cents per dollar spent, then you are contributing to the Credit Union’s success in serving our fellow citizens.  Here’s the math. 

160 visits x 30,000 members x $40 per visit x 16 cents = $3,072,600

SLCCU doesn’t make that much because not everyone uses their debit card 100 percent of the time.  But just know that because of the cooperative spirit of credit unions, the more you use your debit card, the more we can do for you.  We can deploy more offices.  We can keep fees down and rates competitive.  And we can continue to improve service and offer new products to meet your needs.  These are the things we plan on doing in 2012.

So add to your 2012 New Year’s resolutions to use your Credit Union debit card whenever you go shopping.  Happy New Year!!!

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