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What Banking For The Unbanked Means For You

Jul 10, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the plight of the unbanked and underbanked in America. For all of our progress as a nation over the past decade, more than a quarter of US households lack access to a basic bank account or other basic financial services.

Here is the Article on Unbanked discussed on our call:

Or Click here to load the pdf.

Why Remaining Demographic Agnostic Is Vital For Fintech In Payments Convergence

Shai Stern Forbes Councils Member
July 26, 2019

Despite mobile payments providers and credit cards, my mother and other members of the Silent Generation will continue to pay by check. Paper check remains the most common method of paying rent, even among millennials and Gen Z. Many medical bills, utility bills, taxes and nonprofit donations are also still made by check. On the business side, companies continue to pay vendors by check and accept check payments, alongside electronic methods.

Some financial technology (fintech) businesses have ignored check payments, focusing instead on card and mobile payment processing, and card companies that ignore cash and check are only touching a portion of payments. The most successful fintech providers are able to remain demographic agnostic and adapt to payments convergence by aligning their business to these three pillars: checks, Automated Clearing House/electronic and cards. To ensure these pillars function together, fintech companies should consider both integrated receivables and integrated payables to assist with all aspects of a payment from start to finish.

The Federal Reserve Payments Study: 2018 Annual Supplement

Check use up 7.5%
Debit card use up 10.4%
Prepaid up 10.5% which makes you ask...
Wouldn’t Debit be up 21.1% if people had access to a basic bank account?
INSTEAD of EXPENSIVE prepaid cards that were a grass roots payment solution BECAUSE there wasn’t any other choice AND Deposit & GO wasn’t available at time of study...

This brief provides 2017 national estimates and 2016 to 2017 growth rates for card payments. These estimates are based on survey data from a census of general-purpose card networks, payment processors, and issuers of private-label cards. The surveys covered four types of debit cards (non-prepaid, general-purpose prepaid, private-label prepaid, and electronic benefits transfer (EBT) supporting certain government assistance programs) and two types of credit cards (general purpose and private label).
This brief also provides new estimates of 2016 to 2017 growth rates for ACH and check payments as well as ATM withdrawals.

Click here to load the PDF.

National Alliance of Buy Here,Pay Here Dealers

National Independent Automobile Dealers Association

Leveraging Your Location with a FinTech

Feb 13, '19

I'm sure you've heard the term FinTech being thrown around lately in regards to tech giants Amazon, Google and how they might

threaten the banks. Tech giants may affect the traditional bank space but does that really affect your non-traditional market space?

Probably not, here's why and what you can do to leverage your dealership locations.

Banks have started to embrace FinTech's and their state of the art technology to help grow their footprint and offer "digital" services

to their "bankable" clients. Retailers have started enhancing their locations with online delivery, pick up and financial services. But

what about the auto dealer and their subprime customer?

Chances are your dealership is located in a "Bank Desert". Bank Deserts have formed all over the US covering as much as one third to

half of your State. Bank Deserts form when expensive traditional branches close due to a change in the neighborhood or a $3 million

branch is just not viable to build. Or low to moderate income areas are redlined by the bank ie not enough income to support a bank

branch. It's against regulations to redline addresses but the banks get caught doing it more often that you would think. The most

telling feature of a Bank Desert are the number of check cashers, presently growing at 15-30%, as the bank move back into the cities.

That doesn't mean Bank Deserts don't exist in cities. Most major cities have large pockets of low income people living in Bank

Deserts. California has 5 of the top ten most unbanked cities in America and two more are runners up! The highest percentage of the

Unbanked live in a large region of States from North Carolina through the entire South East and West across to California.

But what is a FinTech and how might it apply to your operation?

We've all heard the words, "Game Changer" before. Financial Technology (FinTech) companies developing state of the art bank and

payment systems have been around for a while but are now just starting to make waves across many markets and concern in some.

Recently the Banks themselves were terrified FinTech's would somehow impact their market. Then they embraced prepaid cards as

a solution to servicing the subprime market. Prepaid cards are NOT bank products at all, far from it in fact! A new true bank product

and delivery system was required.

Enter a FinTech which now offers mini bank branch terminals partnered with a bank in the same model as you would find an "Bank

Branded" ATM in a retail store. The smaller POS footprint terminal banks anyone, "bankable" or the "unbanked" non-traditional

subprime person we call "Bank Challenged"©. No or poor banking history, no or poor credit history, no questions asked, instant

issue bank account with a Debit Card printed on the spot. And allows for automatic vehicle loan payments from the bank account

that add up for you with no staffing or cash handling issues or long lines to be serviced on pay day! These are real "entry level" basic

bank accounts not to be confused with non bank prepaid cards that are now rendered obsolete by this new bank product. This new

mini bank branch opens your doors to become a Destination Dealership for banking and thus leveraging your location plus driving

traffic and increasing vehicle sales!

Put up your hand if you are selling too many cars... Put up your hand if you don't want a leg up on your competition!

And by the way, why are you letting your customers use a check casher when handling all that cash gives you a headache?

Remember your Customer Service Course? Service, Service, Service ie customer contact w products your customer wants to buy!

The check casher knows... now your dealership knows and you can compete!

Here's why you should be more than interested in Servicing your customers...

How can I Service my Customers like a check casher does?

Am I letting found money walk out the door?

What if there was a service that combined your $70 billion market share and yet captured some of the $68 Billion check cashing

market AND other financial products your customer buys?

Buy here bank here for your auto dealership

The subprime market you service is valued in excess of $325 Billion and yet buy here pay here auto dealers represent only about $70

Billion of that. And check cashers $68 Billion...

Said mini bank branch offers check cashing (deposit), with a financial product inventory that the subprime "Bank Challenged"©

market would normally purchase elsewhere... well why not from you?

All the inventory items are electronic without any need for physical inventory. Money Remittance, Bill Pay, Cell Phone Top Up, eGift

cards to name a few items. And every single purchase nets the dealership a revenue stream adding to your bottom line!

In the end, if you save your new customer the predatory fees that the check casher charges, 10% of their annual income ($2400-

$4500)... didn't that just make their vehicle payments for the year? What did the check casher give them...?

Ride with Me & Bank for Free!© Could be your new campaign!

What other areas of your business can FinTech's assist in?

Having trouble with recurring vehicle payments?

Paper checks may be going the way of the dinosaur but don't kid yourself, 20 billion paper checks per year are still written and if not

paper, electronic checks or ACH transactions count for another 24+ billion. Then there's the massive number of credit and debit card

transactions... 47 billion debit transactions alone in 2012... many of these are recurring transactions.

Sure that vehicle payment stream went well for a while and then those debits started bouncing. NSF payments are the bain of any

Merchant. The over head to handle NSF payments is huge. Staffing, letters, legal and court time, the black holes of profit margins,

sucking up cash and you probably don't even realize how much, until year end! Hopefully you do and there's a fix.

ACH NSF Electronic Payment recovery, falls under NACHA rules and regulations. NOT Check Collection Agent rules and regulations

that employ antiquated, expensive methods and DO NOT recover recurring credit or debit charges commonly found in a buy here

pay here contract. This means a new profit margin for your operation as you are NOT paying for Collection Agencies high fees ONLY

to recover 50% of NSF items, the industry average, with 40-50% fee on top of that or .25 cents on the dollar back to you.

NSF Electronic Payment Recovery services offer free recovery services, free web portal reporting, 70-90% of items collected, 100% of

funds returned and electronically deposited into your bank account with free support for as long as you require!

Now take a moment, have a coffee and think about this... all electronic, no staff, 100% of recovered funds returned (not 25%) and

70-90% of items recovered (not 50%) and all other services included are FREE!

Equals "found money" by moving into the future!

How is that possible?

Some pretty smart FinTech guys with a fancy algorithm and state of the art computers!

Under NACHA rules for NSF Electronic Recovery Services, the company is allowed to present the NSF item more often than the bank

and charge a State approved fee to the account holder on each NSF item. That's how the service is free to you... and the company

makes a few bucks...

When's the last time you brought your POS card processing up to speed?

FinTech's are pushing change more often than you take your wife out on a date... unless you're "that guy".

How about a free quote with aggressive rates even if other processors turn you down! And a comprehensive report of their rates...

But there's more! Free terminals, free support, free custom web portals with full reporting and no contracts!

The FinTech for you, crunches mammoth amounts of data and is laser focused on dealerships, the spin off information they can offer

you is mind boggling. To get your business they are happy to Service, call it over Service, you!

What about a virtual marketing program that targets the shopping habits of your prospective clients via their cell phone with a text

message within a defined geo-fenced area using Google Maps®? Sounds like Star Wars and you're not far off... but that's another

entire story...

No matter what you do, you owe it to yourself to research what a FinTech can do for your operation to make it more streamline and

ultimately more profitable than your Dinosaur competition will be down the street!

Drive your dealership into the future today with a FinTech and realize increased profits that impact your bottom line!

Mr. Kerridge is the CEO of SeeTek, LLC. Inventor and US Patent holder of SWORD® technologies.

More information may be found at

Buy Here Bank Here is a registered Trade Mark.

The people have spoken "Bricks not Clicks"™ to open a new bank account!

62.5% would rather open a new bank account at the branch with a person!

The SWORD Mini Bank Branch Terminal may be installed anywhere and everywhere!



check how clients expect to open bank accounts


Banks could lose 60% of retail profit to tech startups: study

Globe & Mail
March 25, 2017 September 29, 2015

Banks could lose up to 60 per cent of their retail profits to nimble fintech firms within the next decade, according to global consultancy McKinsey & Co., offering a particularly alarming outlook as new financial technology players nibble away at some of the more vulnerable areas of traditional banking.

Read More


Bank Branch closings in US

Bank Failures Since 2009

There are bank closures... and then to make matters worse... there are bank failures...

Year Bank failure cost to DIF Number of bank failures
Total: 491
2016 (estimated) $9.6 million 1
2015 (estimated) $894 million 8
2014 (estimated) $398.8 million 18
2013 (estimated) $1.165 billion 24
2012 (estimated) $2.785 billion 51
2011 (official) $7.945 billion 92
2010 (official) $22.904 billion 157
2009 (official) $38.732 billion 140


It's Expensive to be Poor

November 9, 2016
Read more.

Nov. 9, 2016
By Renée Loth
Boston Globe

That's what more than 16 million Americans learn every time they try to cash their paychecks, settle a bill, or swipe a debit card. They pay fees and fines for financial services most of us take for granted, and they submit to interest rates that keep them trapped in debt. They are "the unbanked" - Americans operating in an alternate economy without access to basic financial tools.

FTC: 7 deadly ad sins some BHPH dealers commit

September 14, 2016
Read more.

Monday, Sep. 14, 2016, 02:22 PM UPDATED 2:27 PM
By BHPH Report Staff

Operators now have a clear guide on how to avoid getting into trouble with the Federal Trade Commission.

Cindy Liebes, director of the FTC’s Southeast region, shared what she deemed to be the “seven deadly advertising sins” buy-here, pay-here dealers commit that place them in the center of her regulatory radar.

“No doubt, one of the FTC’s top priorities is protecting consumers in the auto marketplace. However, I’ve also heard from many honest dealers saying they can’t compete with the dealer down the street who doesn’t follow the rules,” Liebes said.

“Regulatory actions against unscrupulous dealers promote fair competition, which is good for any industry and protects the players trying to do the right thing,” she continued.

Liebes will discuss more about compliant advertising and auto financing on the second day of Innovate: The Independent Dealer Industry Conference, hosted by DealerSocket starting on Sunday in Fort Worth, Texas.

Liebes will outline lessons for dealers learned from Operation Ruse Control, an initiative she led where the FTC partnered with 32 other governmental agencies. The regulatory project resulted in 252 enforcement actions against dealers nationwide.

Ahead of her keynote, Liebes shared a list of seven deadly advertising sins, all of which draw suspicion from regulators.

“While I can’t speak about current non-public investigations, it’s important for dealers to know that the FTC is committed to bringing law enforcement actions in the auto industry,” Liebes said. “We don’t pay attention to the size of a dealer either. Big and small stores need to get their house in order.”

According to Liebes, dealers’ violations include:

  1. Twisting the facts about add-ons
    For example, the FTC recapped a California-based company deceptively claimed in online ads and through a network of authorized dealers that vehicle buyers who purchased its biweekly payment program would save money. Consumers weren’t told that the cost of the add-on often outstripped any savings. This case resulted in a $2.475 million settlement of refunds and fee waivers.
  2. Lowballing your pitch
    The FTC indicated several dealers recently “crossed the line” by using headlines to tout bargain prices while failing to adequately disclose the true cost of the deal. For example, one Florida dealership pitched “used cars as low as $99.”
    But $99 was just the minimum bid for vehicles offered at a liquidation sale, and that didn’t include substantial mandatory fees. The ads also included photos of loaded cars without clearly explaining that some pictures featured — like spoilers and sunroofs — weren’t included in the price.
  3. Luring customers with misleading “zero” promises
    The regulator explained one California dealer’s deceptive use of zero promised “$0 initial payment, $0 down payment, $0 drive-off lease.” Another ad promised “$0 down, 0 percent APR financing, 0 payments and 0 problems.” But consumers had to pay much more up-front to lease or purchase the cars. And “0 percent APR?” The annual percentage rate for financing those vehicles for the advertised payment was way more than zero percent.
  4. Hiding the strings attached to a deal
    The FTC mentioned an Alabama dealership highlighted eye-catching prices without clearly explaining what the vehicle would really cost consumers. In some cases, ads featured prices that factored in special discounts or rebates that weren’t available to everyone. For example, some prices applied only to recent college graduates, a restriction not prominently disclosed.
  5. Burying key disclaimers in fine print
    The regulator pointed out the fine-print footnotes, unclear “disclaimers” that consumers must scroll down to see, or other buried information won’t live up to the FTC’s “clear and conspicuous” standard. Advertisers often ask how big a disclosure must be, but it’s more than a matter of font size. A clear and conspicuous disclosure is one sufficient for consumers to actually notice, read and understand.
  6. Ignoring applicable credit laws
    The FTC noted one common pothole is using certain “triggering terms” under the Consumer Leasing Act, Truth in Lending Act, Reg Z or Reg M without making required disclosures. For example, if operators advertise monthly lease payments, that kicks in a requirement under the Consumer Leasing Act that you disclose other facts about the transaction — like the total amount due at lease signing; whether a security deposit is required; and the number, amount and timing of scheduled payments.
  7. Violating prior orders
    The FTC may seek monetary civil penalties for violations of prior FTC administrative orders. For example, the FTC recently brought two actions alleging violations of administrative orders, which prohibited dealers from deceptively advertising the cost of buying or leasing a car. One action resulted in the dealer group paying a hefty civil penalty, and the other action is pending. These actions show that there can be a financial cost for violating FTC orders.

To get more detailed, real-world knowledge on BHPH compliance, operators can join Liebes and other legal experts at Innovate: The Independent Dealer Industry Conference. The show will feature more than 80 different classes — all more than one hour long — that dive deep into compliance, technology, collections, finance, accounting, operations and more.

“In total, attendees will access more than $10,000 in legal insight for the price of admission,” organizers said.

DealerSocket expects more than 600 attendees at this year’s conference, including major exhibitors and financial institutions that will showcase the latest dealership technology, best practices and industry solutions.

Payment Journal

August 23, 2016

Trend is consistent with Mercator Advisory Group Banking Channels research, which has found that customers and members strongly desire the option of having face-to-face contact at a branch -- when and where desired. This access to subject matter experts, even if only agree occasionally, can be an important driver of customer satisfaction and increased product deepending and long-term loyalty.

Bank executives argue, however, that branches remain crucial for acquiring new customers and doing more business with new ones. Closures, they say, would hurt revenue more than help reduce costs.

“Our customers still want to visit us,” Jonathan Velline, Wells Fargo's head of ATM and store strategy, told Reuters in an interview. “They're still coming to our stores and our ATMs at pretty consistent rates.”

Anti-Money Laundering: The Next Tidal Wave on the Horizon?

September 13, 2016
Read article.

Evans Bank Settles New York “Redlining” Lawsuit

September 11, 2016
Read more.

Evans Bancorp has settled a lawsuit by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman that accused the Buffalo-area bank of violating the federal Fair Housing Act by engaging in redlining, or the practice of denying mortgages to predominantly African-American neighborhoods. The bank was accused of creating a map that defined its "trade area," but much of Buffalo's East Side -- which is predominantly African-American -- was excluded from that area. Prosecutors argued that African-Americans were denied mortgages regardless of their credit scores and that the bank's pattern of lending did not arise from an absence of willing borrowers, as its rivals were much more generous in their lending. Part of the nearly $1 million settlement will support the development of affordable housing in Buffalo. Evans Bank also will invest $200,000 in advertising and marketing in the city's East Side.

From "Evans Bank Settles New York 'Redlining' Lawsuit"
New York Times (09/11/15) P. B6 Silver-Greenberg, Jessica; Corkery, Michael

CNCDA Says Tesla's Referral Program Violates Bird-Dogging Ban

September 1, 2016
Read article.

Washington Post: Say goodbye to your neighborhood bank branch

Former Barclays chief executive Antony Jenkins laid it out in particularly stark terms in a speech last fall: The global industry, under pressure to meet customer demands for automation and cheaper services, will slash employment and branches by 20 percent to 50 percent over the next decade, he estimated.

“I have no doubt that the financial industry will face a series of Uber moments,” he said in the late-November speech in London, referring to the way that Uber and other ride-hailing companies have rapidly unsettled the taxi industry.

And that's not just the opinion of one well-informed man.

Francisco Gonzalez, CEO of BBVA Bank, said about “In 10 years, only 100 banks will have survived the digital wave.

Realize these figures and representations are indicative of the "banked market" who have the education and unlimited access to online banking technology and therefore need not frequent a bank branch as a "bank challenged" person would have the need to. As proof of that, Check Cashers "thrive" in "Bank Desert" regions. Growing at a rate of 11% in 2014.

Life in a Banking Desert

Without access to basic financial services, poor and minority communities are more likely to use dangerous, high-cost options.

Mar 2016

A neighborhood saturated with fast-food restaurants and bodegas but lacking a grocery store would make it difficult to stick to a healthy diet. It would be similarly hard to manage finances and build wealth without a bank branch nearby. Unfortunately, that is exactly what an increasing percentage of U.S. households are being told to do: manage their finances and build wealth without access to a nearby mainstream bank branch.

Read More

This does not mean, however, that the evidence couldn’t be used to draw mixed conclusions. The New York Fed reports that lower-income communities and communities of color have been less affected than higher-income and majority-white communities by bank branch closings that occurred in the shadow of the Great Recession. However, these communities had less to lose to begin with. Lower-income communities and communities of color have been experiencing a shuttering of bank branches for nearly two decades—devolving into “banking deserts” for quite some time.

Federal deregulation in the 1990s allowed banks to pivot from primarily serving local communities to serving larger and more profitable geographic regions. Banks withdrew from local communities, closing their less-profitable branches that were often in lower-income communities and communities of color. High-cost alternative financial services began to occupy the communities once served by mainstream banking services, expanding at a rate of 15 percent per year since the 1990s.

When alternative financial services like payday lenders and check-cashing stores—the equivalent of fast-food chains and convenience stores in this scenario—swoop into neighborhoods left behind by mainstream banks, residents pay a steep price to meet their financial needs: The average borrower spends over $500 a year in interest just on payday loans. Residents end up diverting money that could have otherwise been used to pay for irregular expenses or to build wealth, instead paying to use the basic financial products that they so desperately need to manage their financial lives. Because like convenience stores in food deserts that don’t sell nutritious food that promotes good physical health, alternative financial services don’t sell products that build long-term financial health.

Technology like mobile banking and fintech innovations help close the geographic distance between households and brick-and-mortar bank branches, thereby increasing access to basic financial products. Yet technology alone cannot repair the negative impact that bank branch closures have had on mortgages and small business lending. Simply put, brick-and-mortar bank branches still matter for accessing credit to build wealth. Without a bank branch in their community, households have limited access to safer and more affordable products, like a savings account that could be used to pay for irregular expenses, or to invest in the future. And, as the New York Fed’s study indicates, residents lose access to small business loans and mortgages when bank branches close, hindering the investment and entrepreneurship needed to drive local economic growth.



Biz Journal: More than 1,600 bank branch closures in the U.S. last year

Overall, there are 1,614 fewer bank branches in the United States today than there were a year earlier [2015]. Banking companies of all sizes continue to close offices as more consumers turn to digital banking and as a means to trim expenses. [Note many low income people do not have access to the digital world. They may be older, not trained or, according to AARP studies, just not be able to afford PC's, lap tops and smart phones. Having said that, to be fair and balanced, we have witnessed many homeless people with state of the art smart phones!]


Wall Street Journal: The number of U.S. bank branches has fallen to the lowest level since 2005

The number of branches in the U.S. dropped to 94,725 as of June 30, [2014], down 1,614, or 1.7%, from a year earlier and down 4,825 from the peak in 2009, according to the FDIC data.



NY Times: Criticism Grows as Check-Cashing Stores Expand in Poorer Areas

By WINNIE HU AUG. 5, 2012

Many of New York City's poorest residents do not have bank accounts, so these window transactions, repeated hundreds of times every day, are their primary contact with the financial system. Check cashers are as familiar to them as corner bodegas, and as reliable.

But an industry built on mutual convenience has come under increased scrutiny over the past decade as its stores have continued to become full financial centers, improving services like electronic bill payment, wire transfers and prepaid debit cards.

The expansion has spurred renewed criticism from advocates for poor residents and from bank officials, who say the check-cashing industry takes advantage of those who have no other options, and it has prompted more calls for consumer protections. Many of the industry's leaders say that they have been unfairly tarnished, that they provide needed services and that they are making improvements to their operations.