Bank of Washington Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer L. B. Eckelkamp Jr. recently announced a new partnership with Buzz Points.

Buzz Points partners with community banks to reward debit card holders for every purchase they make, earning more when they choose to shop locally.

“We are excited about this partnership with Buzz Points,” stated Louis B. “Buzz” Eckelkamp III, president at the Bank of Washington.

“We researched debit card reward programs for over a year, making sure we chose the one that benefits our community the best,” he said. “With this program, not only do we encourage community members to shop locally by earning more points per dollar at a local store, our customers also have the ability to donate their points to local schools and charities as a cash donation.

“Focusing on local businesses, schools and charities has been the heart of the Bank of Washington since its inception in 1877.”

All Bank of Washington debit card holders enrolled in a Buzz Checking account have the ability to sign up for Buzz Points. They earn points automatically with every purchase they make and earn additional points when they shop locally.

Points are then redeemable as a cash donation to a local charity or school signed up with Buzz Points, or redeemable as rewards to local and national businesses that sign up to the Buzz Points platform.

Community members can open a Buzz Checking account and enroll for Buzz Points at any Bank of Washington location.

Eckelkamp said he has already seen a positive response to the program from the community.

“A number of local businesses, school organizations and charities have already signed up for the program, and it is continuing to grow,” he said. “The other neat aspect of Buzz Points is that it is a nationwide program. If you are traveling, you can see the local establishments in the area through the app.

“It is also great for visitors to our area who are involved with Buzz Points through their hometown bank, allowing them to see the great local establishments in our area, and provide exposure to those merchants.”

Local businesses, schools and charities can join the program by contacting the Bank of Washington directly for more information. Participating local businesses and charities will be featured in the Buzz Points website and mobile app.

Plus, participating local businesses will be featured in email marketing, social media posts, mobile app and online advertising through Buzz Points to cardholders. They also can attract new customers and increase loyalty with customizable incentives that Buzz Points will create and maintain for the business owner.

The Bank of Washington is the oldest and largest community bank in Franklin County, serving the community for 140 years, and offering banking seven days a week at their branch located inside Schnucks in Washington.

In addition to six branch facilities located throughout Washington, Gray Summit and Villa Ridge, the Bank of Washington also provides online banking, mobile banking and conveniently located ATMs.