St. Louis Business Journal
By: Kelsey Volkmann
September 27, 2010
Kids often find lessons about finances, saving and budgets boring. So to make financial literacy fun, Build-A-Bear Workshop and U.S. Bank, the largest bank in the St. Louis region with $12.5 billion in charter deposits, have teamed up to create U.S. Bank of Build-A-Bearville.
The bank is the newest addition to the stuff-your-own-toy retailer's interactive, online game, buildabearville.com.
Build-A-Bear Chief Executive Maxine Clark said the virtual bank is already a popular place for visitors to the site and that it's generating a "great response" from children, parents and teachers.
Just like a real-life bank, this branch has ATM machines, a vault, welcome desk and teller counter.
Patrons can open accounts to store "Bear Bills" and accrue interest. Build-A-Bearville "citizens" also can deposit money to make profitable investments and play banking themed games that encourage the responsible management of money as they "work" as a banker providing correct change or guessing the price of certain items.
Bearville citizens can choose from three types of certificate of deposit and just as in the real world, they are rewarded based on their patience:
■One-Day Certificate of Deposit earns 2 percent more than the invested amount of Bear Bills after one day.
■Seven-Day Certificate of Deposit earns 15 percent more than the invested amount of Bear Bills after seven days.
■14-Day Certificate of Deposit earns 40 percent more than the invested amount of Bear Bills after 14 days.
For each Certificate of Deposit, citizens will receive a BearMail (the in-world e-mail system) to confirm that the certificate of deposit has matured.
For its part, U.S. Bank will place counter signs that promote the U.S. Bank of Build-A-Bearville and provide worksheets that are co-branded with US Bank of Build-A-Bearville.
U.S. Bank is the fifth-largest commercial bank in the United States and a subsidiary of Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB), which had $283 billion in assets as of June 30.