Gesa Credit Union is adding Pasco high schools to a debit card partnership program that raises money for student activities.
The Richland-based credit union unveiled its Pasco-branded debit cards during the kickoff to the school district’s annual Winter Carnival on Thursday evening.
The move extends Gesa’s growing list of branded Visa debit cards, which are already available in Kennewick, Richland and College Place. It offers similar cards for Tri-City Americans fans and the Tri-City Dust Devils.
Gesa donates a portion of sales charged to the debit cards back to the schools.
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Last summer, it presented Kennewick schools with a check for $10,000, representing its first full year. Schools can use the money for programs that directly support students, such as sports or music. It cannot be used for administrative or overhead purposes.
Brian Griffith, marketing and communications director, expects donations to be higher this summer as more customers switch to the branded cards. Any school district may sign on to have its own school logos on Gesa debit cards.
As of Feb. 1, Gesa has issued 18,095 school-branded debit cards. Kennewick High School has the largest following, but Richland High is a close second, following by only three cards.
Customers can order school-branded cards through the credit union or stop by any branch, where they can be printed instantly.
Gesa supports student-operated credit union branches at Chiawana and Pasco high schools, and intends to open another student branch at New Horizons High School.
Gesa is Washington’s fifth-largest credit union, with more than $1.7 billion in assets, 143,000 members and 17 offices in Eastern Washington.