Bank On Comes to KC

Connecting the Unbanked and Underserved with Better Options

The Bank On movement is a national effort to ensure everyone has access to safe and affordable bank accounts, leveraging national, regional, and local collaborations to encourage widespread availably of safe, low-cost transactional products. Kansas City-based Credit & Homeownership Empowerment Services, Inc. (CHES, Inc.) will serve as the program manager for the initiative working in concert with the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, KS. Focusing on the entire metro area, in coordination with the Unified Government, this coalition will be the first of its kind in the state of Kansas.

“We are excited to bring this opportunity to the Kansas City Metropolitan Area. CHES, Inc. has a history of providing innovative solutions to our diverse communities. By developing strategic partnerships on both sides of the state line, Bank On will be even more successful in serving those communities” said Coley Williams, President and Co-Founder of CHES, Inc.

Research from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has identified the KC Metro area as a community with a high number of unbanked and underbanked persons. Many reasons consumers lack a basic transaction account are: not enough money for the minimum balance, distrust of financial institutions, high or unpredictable fees, and credit or banking history problems. “With nearly 36 million persons nationwide outside the mainstream financial system, including a disproportionate number of our minority population,” said Mayor and Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, KS Chief Executive Officer David Alvey, “the goal is to create a pathway for these individuals to establish a banking relationship that allows them to save, reduce debt, and access more affordable and responsible credit.”

With the collaboration of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/KCK and CHES, Inc. an organized coalition will combine resources to ensure that residents in the KC Metro area have access to financial empowering accounts. The Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE) has established a “Logic Model” to identify the goals, objectives, and outputs that Bank On KC will use to measure the coalition’s successes.

“The Unified Government is pleased to support this local pilot in collaboration with CHES, Inc., making available and expanding access to safe and appropriate financial products and services for unbanked and underserved communities throughout the Kansas City region,” said Alvey.

Financial institutions interested in learning more about the free product certification process should contact Justin Walker at CHES, Inc. Consumers looking to open an account can find a growing list of banks offering certified products here

Download Bank On Comes To KC Press Release (PDF)

Download Spanish Version of Bank On Comes to KC Press Release (PDF)