Union Bank in San Francisco has created a new bank account designed for the underbanked.
The bank on Tuesday introduced the Union Bank Access Account. The account, designed for customers with limited means who may not qualify for a traditional account, will be available in California, Oregon and Washington.
The Access Account is a checkless account that is intended to minimize the likelihood of fees, while offering standard deposits and withdrawals and point-of-sale transactions. It has no set-up fee and does not need to be linked to a direct deposit or benefits payment, the bank said.
The Greenlining Institute and the California Reinvestment Coalition have already applauded Union Bank for the product.
"This new account won't work for everyone, but we think it will be useful for a meaningful number, including customers who have trouble maintaining a high minimum balance," Sasha Werblin, economic equity director at the Greenlining Institute in Berkeley, said. "There is a large market out there of customers who aren't being served by the options now available, and we urge all banks to develop new and responsible ways to meet their needs."