Arvest Bank offers Wildcats debit cards

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Cassville R-4 School District gets $2 for every card issued

People can express themselves in hundreds of different ways each day, from their clothing choices to their cell phone case, and even with a unique or expressive design for their debit cards.

These non-traditional debit cards, a growing trend in recent years, allow customers to choose a specialty design for their debit card like a picture of a pet, logo of the local high school sports teams, a particular area of interest or an otherwise engaging image. The banking industry is quickly adapting in various ways to this growing consumer demand from customers for more stylish card options.

Affinity cards are not a new trend; their rise in popularity has brought an increase in options. A recent emphasis of some banks is to forge local partnerships and appeal to consumers' community spirit by offering cards that represent local high schools, colleges, charities and other organizations. In Cassville, Arvest customers now are able to get a debit card featuring the Cassville Wildcats.

The Wildcats card allows cardholders to show their support. Arvest Bank in Benton County, worked directly with Cassville to offer this affinity debit card to customers and the school district receives $2 for each card issued, so it is a great way to show support. New Arvest customers can get affinity cards at no extra cost and existing customers can get an affinity card to replace an existing card for just $5.00. This a replacement fee only, it is not recurring.

"Arvest is dedicated to supporting our community, and we know our customers want to show their pride and support for local schools and organizations," said Mark Davis, Arvest Bank Community President in Cassville. "We are in a unique position because we have big bank expertise when it comes to debit cards, and we focus on supporting our local community to build relationships and provide cards tailored to specific groups like the Cassville Wildcats."

Banks like Arvest try to give cardholders what they want which leads to a happy card-carrying customer. According to the FDIC's ranking by assets, Arvest is the 82nd largest bank in the country; however, the bank is a top-20 debit card issuer. Visa's 2012 third-quarter rankings list Arvest 17th in debit card issuing, and according to Visa, Arvest is growing over two times faster than large issuers. Although a fairly recent offering, more than 45,000 Arvest customers now carry debit cards featuring a local school or specialty design.

Arvest Bank issued their first affinity card in 2008 in northwest Arkansas, a card featuring the logo of the regional professional baseball team, the Naturals. The bank launched a full affinity card program in 2011 that took the trend even more local, as they developed cards for local high school sports teams.

Each contract is different, but the partnering organization generally receives a one-time donation, an annual donation, or an annual per-card donation. Arvest is open to partner with additional organizations to create a new affinity card.