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Bank On

ABA encourages banks of all sizes to take part in this industry-wide financial inclusion initiative

The vast majority of consumers in the country have a bank account and enjoy the safety, security and benefits that come with it. But there are still some who remain outside the banking system. For those individuals, access to a simple transaction account can be a first step toward long-term financial security.

As part of ABA’s commitment to reduce the number of unbanked people in the country, we are encouraging all banks to join the Bank On movement by offering low-cost, basic accounts that meet the Bank On initiative’s National Account Standards. By taking this step, your bank will demonstrate your commitment to financial inclusion, while also adding new customers in the process.

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The subsequent work of Bank On coalitions to increase the availability and uptake of these accounts has been, if I might say, remarkable." 

FDIC Chairman Martin J. Gruenberg (Remarks at 2023 Bank On National Conference)

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The Bank On movement began more than a decade ago. Community organizations, banks, government agencies, and researchers put their heads together to tear down a significant barrier to financial inclusion. There has been great progress in building "on-ramps" through Bank On account access and reducing the unbanked population."

Acting Controller of the Currency Michael J. Hsu (Remarks at 2023 Bank On National Conference)

How it Works

Bank On connects consumers to safe and affordable bank accounts. The Bank On national platform, led by the nonprofit Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund), helps individuals navigate the marketplace and easily identify accounts that meet their needs. When an account is Bank On certified, consumers know it has features they are looking for, including low or no fees, no overdraft charges, online bill pay and other basic attributes—giving them more confidence to begin or restart their banking relationship with the right tools to manage their money.

Across the country, Bank On coalitions help match consumers with financial institutions in their community that offer the “certified” accounts. To date, 98 state or city coalitions work to connect residents to the 41,000+ financial institution branch locations in the U.S. that currently offer a Bank On-certified account.

Bank On Account Certification

With more than 300 financial institutions now offering certified accounts, the Bank On movement is accelerating. Many of these institutions already had qualifying accounts and were able to apply, at no cost, for a Bank On certification through the CFE Fund. For those banks that don’t currently offer accounts that meet every Bank On standard, the industry’s top core providers, who provide the operational backbone for many banks, have committed to simplifying the process for banks to create and offer qualifying accounts.

Help move the needle on economic inequality by joining the growing list of banks that offer Bank On certified accounts. To sign up, visit joinbankon.org/certify.

Visit Bank On ABA members offering certified accounts

About Bank On

The Bank On National Account Standards were created by national nonprofit organization the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund—or CFE Fund—and are widely supported by consumer advocates and the financial services industry.

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People want credit. They know that until they're banked, until they actually have a credit score, that they aren't going to have access to those other things in life that they want. So, if we can be more thoughtful about building products that are for the consumer, to create a betterment for their lives, that's when it's a win-win."

Julieann Thurlow, President & CEO, Reading Cooperative Bank (Bank On Participant)

New Bank On Training

Learn how to talk to consumers about the benefits of Bank On accounts with this new, free online course available to all banks.

View the Course

More Resources

  • Bank On: Opening the Door to Opportunity – Learn how to talk to consumers about the benefits of Bank On accounts with this new, free online course available to all banks.
  • Bank On Infographic – See how Bank On accounts help expand access to millions of Americans and create an opportunity for banks to reach new customers.
  • Bank On FAQs – answers to frequently asked questions about Bank On-certified accounts.
  • Watch ABA’s Webinar Recording – Experts from ABA, the CFE fund and a participating banker discuss financial inclusion, the Bank On process and its many benefits for banks and their communities.
  • Core providers supporting Bank On – a list of core providers that have committed to make it easier for banks to create and offer Bank On certified accounts
  • Choosing a safe and affordable bank account – information for consumers new or returning to banking on selecting an account that meets their individual needs, including an introduction to Bank On-certified accounts and where to find them
  • Inclusive Banking resource page – all of ABA’s news, training and event opportunities, and policy updates to support banks’ financial inclusion efforts
  • The Bank On National Data Hub: Findings from 2020 – Each year, the St. Louis Fed invites all financial institutions with accounts certified as meeting the Bank On National Account Standards to report data to its BOND Hub.

Our Experts

Naomi Camper

Naomi Camper

Chief Policy Officer, CPO Office

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Tyler Mondres

Tyler Mondres

Senior Director, Research

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