The Green Bank of Caraga, along with researchers, designed and implemented a commitment savings product called a SEED (Save, Earn, Enjoy Deposits) account. The SEED account provided individuals with a commitment to restrict access to their savings, thus potentially helping with either self-control or family-control issues. Each individual defined either a goal date or amount, and was subsequently unable to withdraw from the account until the goal was reached. Other than providing a possible commitment savings device, no further benefit accrued to individuals with this account: the interest rate paid on the SEED account was identical to the interest paid on a normal savings account (4 percent per annum).
Researchers trained a team of marketers hired by the partnering bank to visit the homes or businesses of existing bank clients in the commitment-treatment group, to stress the importance of savings to them. This process included eliciting the clients’ motivations for savings, and emphasizing to the client that even small amounts of saving make a difference; marketers then offered them the SEED product. Another group of individuals (the marketing-treatment group) received the exact same marketing script, but were not expressly offered the SEED product.