CFE Fund Announces Milestone of 100+ Certified ‘Bank On’ Accounts

The Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund today announced that the number of Bank On-certified deposit accounts has surpassed 100. Newly certified accounts from BMO Harris Bank, BOM Bank and Wintrust Community Banks were among those identified by the CFE Fund as helping to reach the milestone.

There are now 108 certified accounts from institutions representing 50% of U.S. deposit market share and 40% of U.S. bank branches, the CFE Fund said. When American Bankers Association President and CEO Rob Nichols, speaking at the association’s Unconventional Convention in October 2020, challenged all banks to consider offering a Bank On-certified account, there were 43 banks offering certified accounts. Today, there are more than 80 banks offering the accounts—with substantially more participation from community banks—and many more are in the certification process. Last fall, Nichols also announced that 20 core technology providers—including Fiserv, FIS, Jack Henry and Associates and Finastra—have committed to simplify the process for their bank clients to create and offer a Bank On-certified account, facilitating community banks’ participation.

“We are thrilled to learn that more than 100 financial institutions, including a growing number of America’s banks, now offer low-cost Bank On certified accounts,” Nichols said in an ABA statement. “We congratulate the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund, which created the Bank On standards, for this important achievement and for the CFE Fund’s ongoing efforts to reduce the number of unbanked in the country. ABA looks forward to doing all we can to continue to support the Bank On movement and make sure everyone in the country can enjoy the many benefits that come with a bank account.”

Bank On accounts are designed to extend bank access to the roughly 5% of U.S. households that remain unbanked. Key features include low costs, no overdraft fees, robust transaction capabilities via a debit or prepaid card and free online bill pay.