Cincinnati — One in four households in the United States is either unbanked or underbanked.* The reasons are varied -- from people not feeling that they have enough money for a bank account to not being able to open an account due to past banking problems.
The underbanked are growing at a faster rate than the overall population, especially among younger consumers.** Fifth Third Bank’s footprint includes some of the highest underbanked markets in the country, including Kentucky, Florida and North Carolina.
Last fall, Fifth Third Bank launched Express Banking, a product designed to meet the biggest needs of the underbanked: a solution that is simple, transparent, convenient and affordable.
Fifth Third created Express Banking for people who typically don't have bank accounts, but who use banks and non-bank alternatives such as check cashing centers to cash checks, make payments and get cashier's checks. Express Banking provides a way for people to manage their money with no monthly service charge or balance requirement. The service does not allow overdrafts, which protects customers from spending money they don’t have.
"We believe Express Banking will represent a more affordable option than is widely available today from providers outside the traditional banking system," said Chad Borton, executive vice president and head of the Consumer Bank for Fifth Third. “It shouldn’t cost a lot of money to do your banking.”
The program, which launched last fall, quickly attracted customers and exceeded the Bank’s expectations.
Today the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced a plan to improve checking account access. The CFPB sent letters to the 25 largest retail banks encouraging them to make available and widely market lower-risk deposit accounts. The bureau emphasized designing services that prevent customers from overdrafting their accounts to avoid spending money they don’t have, and avoid accumulating fees.
“This is exactly why we created Express Banking,” said Greg Carmichael, President and CEO of Fifth Third Bancorp. “We want to provide a simple and safe way for families to manage their finances and build their assets. It will benefit families, but also our communities.”
Express Banking features check cashing and direct deposit, money orders and cashier's checks, among other services. The more consumers use qualifying Express Banking services, the more discounts they earn on these services. Express Banking features a lifetime tier system, so once consumers earn discounts, they keep them for the life of the account. The highest level gives customers a 50 percent discount on money orders and check cashing fees among other services.
Express Banking features:
- No monthly fee.
- No minimum deposit to open.
- No monthly balance requirement.
- No overdrafts, thus no overdraft fees.
- No non-sufficient funds fees.
- Optional debit card with unlimited use at Fifth Third ATMs and in-store and online purchases. Provides protection against unauthorized purchases if your card is lost or stolen.
- Check deposit through consumers’ mobile devices with funds available in minutes. (There is a fee, depending on the customer’s level of use.)
Express Banking customers also have access to money management tools and financial literacy resources. Delivering financial education to people of all ages and stages of life is another way Fifth Third is committed to improving lives in our communities.
For more information, check 53.com/express.
*2013 Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households
**KPMG’s 2014 Banking Industry Outlook Survey
About Fifth Third:
Fifth Third Bancorp is a diversified financial services company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Company has $142 billion in assets and operates 1,295 full-service Banking Centers, including 99 Bank Mart® locations, most open seven days a week, inside select grocery stores and 2,650 ATMs in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Georgia and North Carolina. Fifth Third operates four main businesses: Commercial Banking, Branch Banking, Consumer Lending, and Investment Advisors. Fifth Third is among the largest money managers in the Midwest and, as of September 30, 2015, had $297 billion in assets under care, of which it managed $25 billion for individuals, corporations and not-for-profit organizations. Investor information and press releases can be viewed at www.53.com. Fifth Third’s common stock is traded on the NASDAQ® Global Select Market under the symbol "FITB." Fifth Third Bank was established in 1858. Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender.