Edging Out the Competition

American State Bank of Iowa's mobile coupon app is a win for customers, local businesses and the bank itself.

By Andrea Lahouze
IB Magazine December 2017 Main Street Focus

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In the northwest corner of Iowa, American State Bank of Iowa has found a creative way to maintain its competitive edge with customers. In November 2016, the $850 million-asset bank in Sioux Center released its own branded mobile coupon app, called American Edge, which offers users discounts at businesses in town and across the country. While many other businesses might choose to offer a coupon app at a cost, the community bank opted to make it available to its 9,000-plus rewards checking accounts for free. 

"We wanted to do something to jump ahead again," explain T.J. Speer, American State Bank of Iowa's vice president of corporate affairs. "Instead of fighting over interest rates, we decided that we can provide services, products and access to people that would be harder to compete with. We also were looking at our millennial markets. We wanted to have another place on their cellphone where they access and use us for information. From the relationship-building perspective, we want to be more than an industry. We want to be our customers' partner for information."

To make it happen, the community bank partnered with a company called StrategyCorps to brand and customize an existing app, including offers from local businesses that wanted to participate. The result is a robust and rotating collection of coupons for products and services in town and across the country, from restaurants and coffee shops to gas stations, hotels, hair salons and more. 

"We're part of the StrategyCorps network, so our customers who travel can still find these deals. It's like an ATM but for coupons," Speer says. 

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