TD Canada Trust and South Africa’s Old
Mutual have become the latest members of the international
financial services industry to introduce card-based, automatic
savings and, now, investment programmes. Dan Jones reports on
one of the more innovative parts of the global retail banking

Debit and credit card accounts which come with an automatic savings
facility are on the rise, with new products from TD in Canada and
Old Mutual in South Africa. Two such accounts were launched in May;
there are now nine around the world, following the lead started by
Bank of America back in 2005 with Keep The Change.

With the drive for deposits still high on
banks’ agenda – and saving still the main preoccupation of the
global consumer – the launch of the latest set of programmes, which
also includes Nordea’s ePiggy in Scandinavia and NAB’s focus on
low-income consumers via its AddsUp initiative in Australia
(see RBI 613) should come as no surprise.

TD’s Simply Save, which was launched in June
as part of the bank’s ongoing Everyday Banking promotional
campaign, enables customers to transfer a pre-set amount to a
savings account of their choosing every time they use their debit
cards, in keeping with loyalty programmes seen elsewhere in recent
months. But TD has also leveraged its existing social media
presence in the shape of the TD Moneylounge group site on Facebook
in order to raise awareness of its new initiative.

“We have a dedicated team of marketers who
look at nothing but social media and think through how we are able
to be present where our clients are. But this is the first time
we’ve actually used Facebook and social media for a core banking
product,” said Carrie Russell, senior vice-president, core banking
and payments at TD Canada Trust, speaking to RBI.

This cross-channel marketing, which also
involves a Facebook competition through which consumers can win up
to C$200 ($180), has resulted in the Simply Save programme
garnering C$12 million in deposits in its initial six week run,
signing up “hundreds of thousands” of customers in the process,
according to Russell. However, she told RBI that the
programme was not simply aimed at younger consumers.

“This is really about helping people on their
journey to get ahead… Yes, I think it does skew towards a youth and
young adult audience, but I don’t think we’re saying that’s the
only segment social media would be attractive to,” she

Old Mutual’s own programme focuses not so much
on retail deposits as on promoting its range of money market unit
trusts. Customers who spend money using their investment credit
card will generate a “base investment reward” – money transferred
from their accounts into a unit trust.

The scheme gives customers access to an
investment account at much lower minimum amounts than those usually
applying to money market funds, and also enables customers to
double their investment rewards when shopping with the Old Mutual
American Express card at selected retail partners.

At TD, an initial rate-matching scheme, where
the bank matches a proportion of a consumer’s savings up to a total
of C$200, will come to an end on 24 July. Russell said that it was
too early to say whether such incentives would be reintroduced at a
later stage, but emphasised that the Simply Save programme itself
would be “a fundamental part of our account line-up going

“[In a recent TD poll], 92 percent of
Canadians surveyed wished they could save more. The reality is the
vast majority of them didn’t know how to start. Canadians want to
get ahead, it is a matter of how to begin getting ahead. That’s why
we see Simply Save not just as an acquisition aid but also a way of
deepening relationships with customers,” Russell added.

Asked whether TD had any plans to extend the
scheme to its business south of the border, Russell was at pains to
point out that the two businesses are conducted entirely separately
from one another, but acknowledged that the group was “always
reviewing opportunities to focus on providing the best possible
services and products to our customers” in both the US and

For Old Mutual, the extent of the interaction
between divisions is much clearer: Nedbank, Old Mutual’s
majority-owned subsidiary, is to actively support the product as
part of a push to achieve closer synergies within the group’s


Automatic savings and investment



Name of programme


Bank of America


Keep The Change

Oct 05



Save The Change

Feb 07




Jan 08



Bank The Rest

Apr 08




Nov 08




May 09




May 09

TD Canada


Simply Save

Jun 09

Old Mutual

South Africa

Investment Credit Card Account

Jun 09

Source: RBI