While the FDIC’s latest figures on unbanked Americans show improvement between 2017 and 2019, the headline numbers mask the fact that some demographic categories face substantial disparities in access to mainstream finance. To address this gap, ABA recently encouraged all banks to offer Bank On-certified accounts — safe and affordable transaction accounts designed to meet the needs of unbanked Americans currently offered by 43 banks.
On the latest episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast, Old National Bank’s Ben Joergens discusses his bank’s experience launching a Bank On-certified account. Joergens explains the behind-the-scenes process of developing ONB EZ Access Checking, which has no minimum balance, five free money orders per month for bill payments, no overdraft fees and a monthly fee of $4.95. He also discusses how customers have responded — particularly customers who didn’t think they would find a bank account that worked for them.
ABA Chief Policy Officer Naomi Camper also provides background on Bank On and the development of the standards. This episode is part of a series this fall focused on how banks of all sizes are promoting financial inclusion, making the banking system work for all Americans.
If you can’t see the audio player above, click here to listen to this week’s episode.