Synovus Testing Free iPod Nano at Bank of North Georgia

image It’s an unusual time of year to see a free iPod offer (see previous coverage here, here and here). Usually, they appear closer to the fall “checking account season” when consumers start thinking about holiday gift giving. That way, even if they don’t need an iPod themselves, they might still be motivated to get one to give to someone else. 

However, Bank of North Georgia, one of 36 bank brands owned by Synovus, has an offer running through June 20. Customers opening a new personal checking account, including free checking and sending three bill payments by the end of July, earn a free iPod Nano. The bank may be testing the pull of the freebie during the graduation gift season. We checked the other Synovus banks and none are offering free iPods, at least not prominently (note 1).

Bank of North Georgia is using a homepage graphic of the latest generation iPod Nano, complete with Flash video running on the Nano screen. The fine print (as shown on the offer landing page): 


The iPod ships before Oct. 1, just in time for the next holiday. Thanks to Bank Deals for the find.

Bank of North Georgia homepage (20 May 2008)



1. Tested from a Seattle IP address on 20 May 2008. We refreshed the homepage multiple times to see all offers presented in the main window. We did not search the entire websites of the 36 banks.

Western Union Spin Off May Do Little for First Data

Last week’s news that First Data Corp. will spin off its Western Union operations to First Data shareholders and create a company worth an estimated $20 billion is probably good news for Western Union. Noting that the parent company will be keeping its card processing, card services, and international business lines, observers were asking what had otherwise changed.

The answer: Nothing. “The bottom line for me is that this doesn’t change the realities, which are that even though they’re going to reconstitute what First Data will be, it doesn’t change the facts that Western Union, while it’s a good business, is facing increasing competition around the world, that the card business is struggling mightily, and that merchant processing is a commoditized business,” says Scott Kessler, who follows First Data for Standard & Poor’s.

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