First Keystone Community Bank launched a new consumer account product this week called the Keystone Bank On account. This account is geared towards the unbanked (when no one in the household has a checking or savings account) or underbanked (lacking full use of banking facilities). Bank On offers consumers who are looking to improve their finances a safe, affordable, and truly useful mainstream banking product to access and manage their money.
Why offer this product?
Research from the FDIC shows there are many reasons that consumers lack a basic transaction account–not enough money for the minimum balance; distrust of financial institutions; high or unpredictable fees; or identification, credit or banking history problems. The result is the use of expensive alternative financial services like check cashers, payday lenders, and pawn shops that charge high fees for financial services that fail to help people get ahead. Without a checking account, families wind up paying too much for basic financial transactions and are hard pressed to build savings and assets.
The Keystone Bank On account does not include checks because checks can get unbanked and underbanked customers in trouble since not having sufficient funds and a good grasp on keeping a check balance ledger may lead to overdrafts and overdraft fees that just aren’t affordable to these individuals. However, this account does allow for debit cards, online banking and BillPay services, so these customers have access right up front to the latest technologies and ability to pay bills and receive funds online instead of carrying cash or paying for money orders.
What are the benefits of a basic transaction account?
A basic transaction account is an important first step in establishing a mainstream banking relationship, depositing earnings securely, accessing credit, and saving for the future. Unbanked and underbanked customers lose the cost savings and stabilizing benefits such an account provides, including:
- Cost savings: The average unbanked person spends 5% of net income on unnecessary fees for alternative financial services. This can amount to $40,000 over their lifetime—a significant amount for those who can least afford it.
- Asset building: Without a bank account, a family lacks the ability to save reliably or automatically or establish a banking relationship that can lead to accessing affordable credit for opportunities like a car, small business, or home mortgage.
- Public safety: Without a safe place to deposit their money, unbanked people are more likely to be victims of crime because they often carry large sums of cash with them or keep cash in their homes. The elderly and disabled individuals can be particularly vulnerable.
- Financial stability: Research shows that unbanked and underbanked consumers have a harder time achieving financial goals like reducing debt and improving credit scores.
Who is eligible to open a Bank On account?
A Keystone Bank On can be opened by consumers (NOT for businesses) as either single or joint ownership. Standard identification requirements will apply.
What are the key features?
- No monthly maintenance fees
- No overdraft or insufficient funds fees
- VISA® debit card
- Online and BillPay access
- Mobile banking
- FDIC insured
- No checks permitted
For more information on the Keystone Bank On account, please call 570-752-3671, or visit www.fkc.bank.