Is PerkStreet a scam? It seems too good to be true; what’s the catch?
For us, the question is completely inside out. It’s surprises our new employees and frustrates our old ones.
It makes me sad that, as consumers, we’ve become so jaded that we immediately question a good deal and conclude it probably is a fraud or scam. In truth, I am no different when I take my marketing hat off and become the skeptical shopper. This blog post is about why we started PerkStreet, the challenges we face in the world of financial non-innovation we live in, and the moral code PerkStreet Financial operates under.
A lot of marketing today is meant to make more noise — generate more “buzz” — than it does good. People sit around board rooms all the time talking about how their companies can look really good without actually doing good. It’s a formula that’s worked for generations, from emperors doling out bread to satiate the masses to settlers handing out beads and baubles in exchange for land.
Many corporate giants follow the same path, investing more in the packaging and advertising than the real value their products deliver. They start charities that do very little but look very big. They create slogans meant to make people feel good by channeling emotions otherwise unrelated to their business.
Of course, even though we’re aware of the peril, we still buy into it. We’re like moths at the porch light wondering what’s the catch but still unable to tear ourselves away from the catchy phrases and promises of great rewards. (Meanwhile, I’ve yet to see my whiter teeth, cleaner clothes and six pack abs promised on TV.)
The truth is, hearing that good things are happening and seeing them actually take place are two different things. In today’s world of instant communication, sharing, liking and tweeting, seeing is — more than ever — believing.
PerkStreet is about helping America rebuild as a nation that spends responsibly.
We started PerkStreet because we wanted to create a sustainable business that wasn’t about one side profiting unreasonably on the back of the other. Many on our team spent time in the credit industry and saw the destruction caused by a well-meaning consumer making what they thought was a good choice. In reality, many of these choices were actually destructive (scams) but that was because confusing fine print and the lure of rewards disguised the real deals being struck. This kind of functioning certainly could be profitable for the corporation in the short term, but it drove us insane. It’s morally wrong and it eventually breaks down when the losing side finds out the truth.
To be sure, one needs only to look around at the state of the current economy to understand that the modern era of swindling and unfair business practices must be put behind all of us as Americans.
PerkStreet is about the other kind of business America is known for. The kind that simply does it better and spreads the value out to everyone involved in the exchange. No scams. No B.S. PerkStreet is about building a better way.
Why PerkStreet is a financial services company that feels different.
PerkStreet’s core business is like profit sharing; that’s something most people don’t expect.
We cut costs out of the system by getting rid of features that don’t add much value. Things like branches and branded ATMs. Instead, we take the profits we make and give more to our customers than any other bank and all the while, we reward responsible spending. We aren’t trying to lure you to spend more than you can afford just so you can get a plane ticket (a trick used by the credit industry for far too long). If you’re making the choice to spend on debit, you’re spending the money you’ve already earned rather than putting yourself in debt.
We think that’s a good thing, and so, it seems, do most of our customers.
What does this mean for you?
There are a few things that come close to feeling like a “catch” for some people, and occasionally, these people vocalize frustrations about them. For one, we can’t afford to give perks for everything. As much as we’d like to reward every action, like billpay or taking out cash, there are simply no profits to share on these kinds of transactions.
Second, fraudsters and gamers aren’t just stealing from us when they take advantage of our business, THEY’RE STEALING FROM YOU! I know the transfer limits and other fraud systems we have in place can seem like a pain, but every dollar we lose to fraud is a dollar we can’t give you in cash back. For every gamer that tries to take advantage of the program and take an unfair share, it ruins it for the good customers. It’s because of people like this that we occasionally need to add restrictions and limits or sometimes even cut entire programs.
Here’s the thing about PerkStreet, though: When we have to change things, we tell our customers so all the facts are left on the table. No bait-and-switch. No scams. Just transparency. It’s something we are all dedicated to upholding.
Why we do it.
Our company is here to prove that better financial services are possible. People are so used to hearing the same things from Big Banking that they have trouble believing innovation in this space is even possible. Let me be the first to tell you that we would never have left the security and comfort of our old jobs if we didn’t KNOW it is.
We’re out to build a better system with our customers at the heart of it. Simply put, our team is working hard every day to fix banking. PerkStreet does seek to make a profit. We have to, or we wouldn’t be around to give you great cash back and other perks. PerkStreet is a business. We just happen to think of our customers as part of the company –another shareholder in building something great.
If you’re a customer, you should know we’re glad you are part of our team and are helping us fix banking. We get fan mail from customers saying things like “I can’t believe I’m saying I love my bank” or “I’m using PerkStreet to pay down my debt” or “PerkStreet allows us to enjoy more of life without feeling guilty.” That’s pretty awesome and something we promise to keep doing because we aren’t dependent on some customers slipping up and paying late fees or getting slapped by high interest rates. PerkStreet is financial services done right, and we’re glad you recognize it.
Why you should do it.
If you’re looking at PerkStreet and considering trying it — maybe even wondering if it’s a scam — look around. Google us. Check out our Facebook Page or our Twitter account. Ask our customers what they think of our products and our service. You’ll soon see the praise far outweighs the skepticism. Many people who began wondering if we could be real end up as our most fervent and vocal supporters.
If you’re thinking of joining PerkStreet you should know this is your chance to fix banking, too. This is your opportunity to plant a flag with us and say, “banking will be done my way from now on.” No smoke and mirrors. No debt to combat. No phony bologna or scams to entice you. Just pure, efficient business.
We pay you cash back to give us your business because we have found a better way that let’s us do that. Becoming a PerkStreet customer means standing up and saying, “I want to do this the right way — the smart way. I work hard for my money and I want to be treated well by the financial institutions that hang on to it for me.”
Because at the end of the day, we’re all consumers and we ALL want to be treated that way. Even the people who work at PerkStreet.