The joint card provides students with a fee-free bank account while doubling as a Co-op membership card, providing access to low-cost banking and other Co-op merchandise.
As part of the offer, ME Bank will pay students' Co-op membership fee of $25 if they choose to open a ME Bank EveryDay Transaction Account when they become Co-op members.
Once on board, cardholders are eligible to earn 5 per cent from any PayPass Tap & Go transactions they make of $100 or less with any retailer. Cardholders also benefit from no monthly account-keeping or ATM charges at over 3,000 ATMs Australia-wide.
The Co-op receives more than 100,000 new members annually and is Australia's largest member-owned retailer, with 1.8 million members and 60 stores based on universities nationally.
ME Bank's CEO, Jamie McPhee, said just as other banks recruit primary school children in anticipation of their becoming important future customers, ME Bank and the Co-op is hoping to continue the same thing with university students.
“As well as strategic, the partnership has proven successful by sourcing new and young customers,” Mr McPhee said.
“Co-op has unmatched access to university students, many of whom are still establishing financial independence and are less likely to be loyal to other financial institutions,” he said.
“Together with the Co-op, ME Bank has the opportunity to build relationships with these customers early on by saving them money now and as they get on with university life and enter the workforce.”
Co-op CEO Peter Knock said he was pleased with last year’s results, and is confident the ME Bank partnership will continue to reinforce the Co-op’s strong membership growth and expanded retail plan.
“We definitely see this combined card as being the university undergraduates’ equivalent of the school bank account, except it has more relevance both for their now and their future financial needs,” he said.