The F&M Community Bank recently inducted a new change into the banking system from which the local residents will reap the benefits of the most innovative checking accounts available to date.

Kasasa is a new brand of free checking and savings accounts that rewards consumers for using their account with what interests them most. These items include high interest rates, rebates for checking accounts and automatic savings.

According to Dan Christianson, CEO of F & M Community Bank, "This is a national brand which community banks are starting to use around the country."

One goal of this brand is to reward members who qualify for this product and eliminate the fees megabanks have utilized. All the products are free, reward-based accounts. In addition, there is no minimum balance to earn the rewards or maintain the account. Free online banking is encouraged along with the use of free ATMs across the nation.

There are three accounts for the local consumer to consider. The first is Kasasa Cash. When the consumer qualifies for this benefit, he or she is rewarded each month with a two percent interest rate, which is 50 times higher than the national average. This rate of percentage applies to balances up to $20,000.

Though there may not be many whose balances reach $20,000, they still rate a much higher return than other banking systems. According to Christianson, a more typical customer can earn up to $8 per month in rebates.

For using a debit card, Kasasa Cash Back gives to the customers a two percent rebate on all the purchases of the month placed upon the card, up to $400. Also, as customers utilize any ATM, they need not worry about any fees. By using an ATM, a consumer will obtain a refund of ATM fees up to $25 per month.

Both the interest rate for the checking account and the rebates from using the debit card are placed into the Kasasa Saver account supporting Kasasa Cash and Kasasa Cash Back. This account also attains high interest for the consumers.

The new approach to banking was created through extensive research of how to benefit a consumer who feels he may not receive all the products available to him due to fees and other sacrifices.

F & M Community Bank adopted this new way to join the fight against big banks who do not employ Kasasa and are more interested in acquiring fees.

In addition, F & M seeks to strengthen the relationships with current customers and future customers as well as build up the local economy.

"We are interested in our customers' behaviors and what we can do to reduce the cost to pass more savings on to them," Christianson stated.

There are several qualifications a consumer must fulfill in order to receive all the benefits F & M has to offer through Kasasa. The first qualification is to use a debit card at least 12 times per month. Any less and the consumer fails to qualify. The second is to open an account online and log into it each month. Finally, the consumer must use electronic statements and make at least one electronic payment during the year.

Christianson pointed out, "This product is good for everyone - the community and the bank."