The Bank On 2.0 initiative is a national approach to leveraging government programming, funding, and partnerships to ensure that everyone has access to safe and affordable financial products and services. Building on the successes of local Bank On programs, the initiative incorporates cutting-edge financial empowerment strategies from the CFE Fund and its partners along with innovative financial products and services that are appropriate, affordable, and available at scale through municipal governments.
Through the Bank On 2.0 Innovation Fund, supported by JPMorgan Chase Foundation, CFE Fund will support the design and implementation of pilot programs and research that test new, replicable methods of reaching underserved markets through local government infrastructure and leadership. Round one pilot funding will support efforts to enhance banking access in rural populations; we have selected Bank On Washington and Consumer Credit Counseling Service of the Savannah Area (CCCS) for grant support. Bank On Washington will partner with mobile and local libraries to create financial hubs that connect rural residents and Native American communities to accounts; and CCCS will research and partner with local financial institutions to explore a replicable model for offering account access through trusted community partners in rural communities in Georgia and South Carolina, including through free financial counseling.
The CFE Fund has also released the Bank On 2.0 Innovation Fund’s second round omnibus Request for Proposals. This round offers support for replicable research and programs aimed at increasing access to financial services in three distinct concentrations: populations with unique challenges, rent payment solutions, and direct deposit for individuals who receive regular non-employee payments from local governments. The RFP and application can be found here.
More about Bank On 2.0
Bank On 2.0 builds on the grassroots success of a wide array of Bank On and related banking access programs in cities like San Francisco, Seattle, New York, and dozens of others across the country. These first-generation banking access programs have already connected tens of thousands of people to safe and affordable financial products at institutions ranging from local community banks to global financial organizations. The CFE Fund and its partners are building a national approach and infrastructure that includes products, services, best practices, resources and other technical assistance to facilitate local municipal efforts to connect unbanked and under-banked residents to safe and affordable mainstream banking services. By developing comprehensive, proven models, Bank On 2.0 will help individuals successfully navigate the financial system to enhance their ability to grow their finances.
The CFE Fund works with financial institutions, local government leaders, federal regulator partners, foundations, and national nonprofit organizations to advance this effort. To this end, the CFE Fund convened these leaders at a national conference – Building a National Platform for Local Programs – in late 2014; read the agenda here. In addition, the CFE Fund’s National Bank On 2.0 Advisory Board will help create a national approach that can help local governments connect residents to financial services. This work is made possible thanks to a seed grant of $1.15 million from JPMorgan Chase Foundation, and the support of additional pilot project and conference funders including Citi Foundation, American Express, MetLife Foundation, Bank of America, and VISA.