If you’d like to earn 5.25 percent interest on your checkin’ account, you might be a redneck. The Redneck Bank — "where bankin’s funner!” — is payin’ some of the most mouth-waterin’ interest rates on checkin’ accounts in the whole U.S. of A. You can even git yer Redneck Bank debit card with or without the brayin’ horse on it ("We want to be your ‘mane’ bank!”) The Internet bidness, er, bank is an arm of Snyder-based Bank of the Wichitas, and the brainchild of Wade Huckabay whose family owns three Oklahoma banks. The Redneck Bank name was an attempt to differentiate its Web site from thousands of online banking operations, Huckabay said. "Our target market is people with a sense of humor,” he said. That apparently is an untapped market, as the Web site signed up customers in 45 states in 45 days. The Huckabay banking family also has banking Web sites targeting customers who are patriotic (AmericaNetBank.com) and high-tech enthusiasts (Evantagebank.com). But Redneck Bank has become an Internet sensation since it officially launched in November, Huckabay said. Blog chatter and e-mail forwarding sent Redneck Bank’s page views soaring in January, he said. "It took off like a rocket,” Huckabay said. "It’s been quite a challenge to keep up with the volume.”
‘You get humor’Redneck Bank offers 5.25 percent interest rate on FDIC-insured checking accounts for clients who use the bank’s debit card for at least 10 point-of-sale transactions monthly and agree to online-only statements. Other Internet banks offer similar deals, Huckabay said, but they’re not as much fun. "There’s 9,000 banks on the Internet,” he said. "If there are 100 customers looking for an Internet bank, let’s take one of those and let those 9,000 banks fight it out for the other 99.” Keith Hazelton, director of economic research for the Oklahoma Bankers Association, said Bank of the Wichitas "is a great hometown Oklahoma bank.” "They clearly have chosen this as a way to differentiate themselves,” Hazelton said. "Instead of a toaster, you get humor.” After a consultant firm produced a list of potential names for the Internet bank that failed to elicit the response Huckabay was seeking, he spent hours looking up unused Web site names. Redneck Bank was Huckabay’s favorite, and was selected by the two most senior of the bank’s board members. But the decision wasn’t unanimous. "My sister was appalled,” he said. Huckabay’s late grandfather, who bought the Snyder bank more than 60 years ago, probably wouldn’t have cared for it either, Huckabay said. "He told me ‘there’s been a lot of changes in banking, and I’ve been against every one of them,’” Huckabay said. The welcome mat’s on the porch at Redneck Bank, even for bluebloods. New York and California are among the top home states of customers. "I don’t say that I’m a redneck,” Huckabay said. "It’s simply a bank name,” he said.