Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Banking at the Ice Cream Shop

Do you chuckle when you get your savings account interest statement? If your balance is rather low, your bank probably only gives you a few cents each period—not really enough to make a difference to you. Let’s fantasize for a moment…what if your bank gave you real money for keeping your savings there. What if it gave you 5.5 percent interest every month?

Since we’re fantasizing, let’s get really crazy. What if you could then use that 5.5 percent interest to buy ice cream right there at the bank? That would mean, basically, free ice cream just for choosing that bank.

If you live in Pittsburgh, PA, this fantasy is a reality. The owner of the city’s well-known Oh Yeah! ice cream shop has begun accepting deposits from customers, offering 5.5 percent interest that translates into money to buy ice cream at the shop. The concept is catching on slowly among the faithful Oh Yeah! customers, but it’s also drawing dubious attention from state regulatory agencies because the owner of the shop does not have a license to conduct banking activities.

The owner of Oh Yeah! came up with his idea when he was tired of his bank charging him extreme overdraft fees. He decided to give his own customers the kind of banking service he wished he got, and threw in a generous monthly ice cream interest plan as well.

What are your choices when you buy ice cream with your interest? Well, the biggest attraction of Oh Yeah! is its huge variety of mix-ins. You can satisfy any craving with sugary treats like Lucky Charms cereal, or get high-class with coconut wasabi or habanero peppers. Premium ice cream, of course, forms the base of these creations, with a rotating selection to keep you coming back often.

Getting some ideas for your own ice cream business? If you think you’d make a great shop owner but don’t have the resources to start from scratch, consider an ice cream franchise. This approach is a great way for you to benefit from the support of a large company while reaping the profits of the delicious ice cream you serve.

Whether or not you choose to incorporate a bank into your ice cream shop is your business. And wait, we’ve saved the best part of this story for last: the name of the bank inside the ice cream shop. When you leave your money with them, you deposit it into the Whalebone Intergalactic CafĂ© Bank. Enjoy your ice cream!

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