Mainstream financial accounts matter
A basic transaction account is an important first step in participating in the financial mainstream, depositing earnings securely, paying bills efficiently, accessing credit, and saving for emergencies and the future. 65M adults in the US are unbanked or underbanked. They rely on costly alternative financial services—like check cashers, payday lenders, and pawn shops—for routine financial transactions.
Banks and credit unions across South Alabama came together to create solutions for people who need the benefits of a bank or credit union. Each of us cares about the well-being of our community, and we know that high-interest loans and check-cashing fees hold our neighbors back from financial security and success.
The average unbanked person spends 5% of net income on unnecessary fees for alternative financial services. This can amount to $40,000 over a lifetime — a significant amount for those who can least afford it.
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.
Research shows that being unbanked makes it harder to achieve financial goals like reducing debt and improving credit scores. Recent studies found unbanked financial counseling clients were less than half as likely to be able to save, and over a third less likely to establish credit, as banked clients.
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 or keep cash in their homes. The elderly, disabled, and undocumented immigrants can be particularly vulnerable.
We’ve partnered with the following banks and credit unions in Baldwin, Choctaw, Clarke, Conecuh, Escambia, Mobile, Monroe and Washington counties:
National Account Standards Approved
What Is a National Account Standard Approved Account? The Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund and Bank On South Alabama work directly with local, national and regional financial institutions to encourage the widespread availability of safe, low cost transactional products. When you choose a National Account Standard Certified Account product you can be assured that there is no overdraft and your account fees are low-cost, transparent, and predictable.