Bling Nation, a local payments network provider for community banks nationwide, today announced La Junta, Colo.-based The State Bank went live on May 21 with the Bling Nation Community Payments Service, a contactless payments network that enables banks and merchants to avoid global network costs and keep money within the community through a secure local debit network.
The bank markets the local payments network as an alternative to expensive, traditional payments networks and accompanying rewards program as Redi Pay Bling.
"The State Bank operates in a competitive market," said Brad Rose, vice president of Information Technology and Security for The State Bank. "In a community of 8,000, there are five banks, including one national branch, and two credit unions. As a result, it is important for us to distinguish ourselves by offering our customers lower costs and increased security and convenience in making and accepting payments, while also driving local commerce."
The State Bank, which is supported by Integrated Bank Technology's banking software, is offering the Community Payments Service to local merchants and its almost 5,000 customers. Consumers benefit from the network's multiple layers of security, the convenience and redemption of rewards in real-time. Merchants are no longer faced with expensive interchange fees and can offer customizable rewards programs to customers. Finally, the bank, which has cemented loyal relationships with its account holders, has lowered fees and generated more income per transaction.
"The State Bank has signed more business accounts since May 21 as a result of Redi Pay Bling than in the past two years," continued Rose. "The merchants we have enrolled in Redi Pay Bling represent 80 percent of our target in the initial roll-out. Through word-of-mouth over less than a month, five percent of our customers have activated their BlingTags, and we have planned targeted direct marketing and other marketing initiatives to drastically increase that number."
"For consumers committed to shopping local, they are still using the equivalent of a big box retailer to process their transaction if the merchant is not participating in a local payment network," said Meyer Malka, co-CEO of Bling Nation. "The Community Payments Service keeps money in the La Junta community, while providing consumers with a convenient and secure way to pay for purchases. Eliminating several middle-men in the transaction process enables The State Bank to focus its resources on enhancing its relationship with local merchants and providing its customers with superior service."
Bling Nation's core technology is an integrated issuing and acquiring platform designed specifically for local and regional banks. Through its Community Payments Service, Bling Nation enables financial institutions to more profitably support payments between their local demand deposit account (DDA) customers and their merchant customers by bypassing the current global debit payment model with an efficient, cost-effective and local payment network.
"Our Community Payments Service provides economic benefits to community banks and local merchants by eliminating global transaction fees typically incurred with debit payments," said Wences Casares, co-CEO of Bling Nation. "The State Bank of La Junta is an ideal partner for us, and the community of La Junta has openly embraced our local payment network. Keeping money circulating within the community is a key ingredient in revitalizing small towns that have been hit hard by the pressures of the economic downturn and increased competition from big box chains. The State Bank understands the importance of providing an affordable shop local option to local merchants and customers, and we are proud to be providing the network that makes this possible."