Chase is taking a step towards tapping onto the unbanked population in the United States. This week the bank began offering checkless accounts with access to its mobile app, branches and ATMs for $4.95 a month and no minimum balance. The accounts come with debit cards, digital payments and free check cashing, but do not allow overdrafts. Overdrafts usually come with huge fees and low-income consumers are usually those who end up paying as they are most likely to spend more than they have in their accounts.
Thasunda Duckett, chief executive of Chase Consumer Banking, said that the $60 you would have to pay in fees for the new Secure account is much less than the $200 to $500 a year that those with no bank accounts spend at check cashing and money order services. If you want a full service bank account, Chase currently has a $600 bonus available.
Financial technology startups, such as Chime and SoFi, already offer accounts with large networks of ATMs and no monthly fees. Chase’s fee, Duckett said, provides ATMs that accept checks and bankers to question in person. But there’s also full service banks that have no fee accounts. M&T is an example, and they are offering a signup bonus, but they do not have the same network as Chase. There’s also plenty of other smaller banks that have no fee options, so it;s always worth checking out some of the local banks or credit unions.
Read more at Reuters.