Bank On Central Texas saves Central Texans $2.4 million in fees!

In its first year, Bank On Central Texas (BOCT) opened more than 6,000 bank accounts- saving individuals more than $2.4 million. Many Central Texans struggle daily with budgeting and meeting daily expenses. Often these individuals are wary of banks and use services provided by check cashers, pawn shops and payday lenders. Forty-seven thousand Central Texans don’t use a bank account for basic financial activities and cash checks valued at more than $160 million at check cashers with more than $4 million in check cashing fees collected. In Austin alone, a typical working, unbanked household pays between $230 and $918 to cash paychecks during the course of one year. For someone on a fixed income or living paycheck to paycheck, that can really add up. To address this issue, United Way Capital Area (UWCA) launched BOCT is a community initiative to bring together financial institutions, government, private sector and community organizations to provide more people access to better financial products and services. “Individuals who don’t have bank accounts rely on alternative, high-cost financial services,” said Annie DuPre, Financial Stability VISTA at UWCA. “There’s potential for these individuals to save hundreds of dollars a year by opening a low cost or even free account through the partnerships established by BOCT.” BOCT, which serves 10 counties, reaches out to both unbanked (those who do not have an account-checking or savings) and under-banked (those who use a combination of mainstream and alternative financial services). The majority of unbanked or under-banked individuals are in low and […]

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JP Morgan Chase partners with Bank On Central Texas to help Central Texans “Make their Money count”

JP Morgan Chase becomes the 10th partner to join Bank On Central Texas in helping Austin residents open a bank account and bringing affordable financial services to Central Texas. “Mainstream financial institutions like Chase are the safest way for consumers to protect their money,” said Jill Shah, Director of Financial Stability at UWCA. “With Bank On, we’re making it possible for the 47,000 people in our community without a bank account to finally open one. Partnering with Chase allows us to reach even more people.” In its first 9 months, Bank On Central Texas helped 4,300 people open bank accounts, saving a total of $1.7 million in check-cashing fees. Chase will help the unbanked population by offering no-fee accounts, free check cashing, easy direct deposit and referrals to Bank On’s financial education classes. Chase customers will enjoy a more comprehensive menu of services thanks to this partnership. “Families with access to basic services like a bank account are more likely to save and less likely to fall prey to high fees and interest rates,” explained Jill. “In these economic times, it’s more important than ever to plan your finances carefully.”  

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City of Austin saves $7200 thanks to Bank On Central Texas

As one of Austin’s largest employers, the City of Austin is setting a strong example about how employers can empower their workers: over 350 City of Austin employees have switched to using direct deposit to deposit their paychecks thanks to Bank On Central Texas, a collaboration between United Way Capital Area and PeopleFund. This move will save the City more than $7200 in fees annually and save each employee who switched nearly $150 every year. “We’re supporting employers to help them make the best financial decisions for their employees,” said Jill Shah, Director, Financial Stability at UWCA. “Using direct deposit is an easy way for both parties to get more out of their dollars.”

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