Mobile Commerce

Fifth Third Launches Service For The Unbanked/Underbanked

Noting that in the United States as many as one in four households is either unbanked or underbanked, Fifth Third said Wednesday (Feb. 3) that it is launching Express Banking specifically to target those populations through mobile options.

The service itself traces its genesis back to fall 2015. The new offering has features that include no monthly fee, no minimum deposit and optional debit cards that allow for unlimited use at the bank’s ATMs. Specific to mobile is the ability to deposit checks through mobile devices, the company noted, making funds “available in minutes” — with attendant fees, of course.

Fifth Third management said in its statement that the reasons the underbanked and unbanked remain so are varied, but as Chad Borton, executive vice president, said in the news release accompanying the announcement, “we believe Express Banking will represent a more affordable option than is widely available today from providers outside the traditional banking system.” The bank said that the underbanked are growing at a faster rate than the overall population, while its own physical footprint maintains roots in some of the highest underbanked markets across the United States, including Kentucky, Florida and North Carolina.

The target audience among the underbanked and the unbanked, according to Fifth Third, uses banks and other alternatives even as they do not have checking accounts, with examples including check cashing centers. Under the new service being debuted by Fifth Third, there are no overdrafts, which means that consumers cannot spend money they do not have.

With the offerings that include check cashing and direct deposit, among others, the more often consumers use the Express Banking platform, the more discounts they are able to gather in conjunction with those services.

[bctt tweet=”The more often consumers use the Express Banking platform, the more discounts they are able to gather in conjunction with those services.”]

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