You may have heard of speed dating, but speed banking? It’s a novel new approach developed by Heartland Alliance to help improve access to banks for those who have traditionally gone without. Presented as a part of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s Money Smart Week 2012, the speed banking workshop was modeled after the familiar speed dating approach—a matchmaking service where people are introduced to many new people within a short period of time.
The workshop exposes participants to a wide variety of financial products and services as well as representatives from various financial institutions, including Chase, Fifth Third, and PNC Banks. The goal is to increase their knowledge and familiarity with mainstream banking practices.
“We are pleased to offer this unique and fun introduction into banking,” says Carmen Jimenez, Employer Partnerships Manager for Heartland Human Care Services. “For many of the attendees, this will be their first foray into mainstream banking. Our goal is to help people build a foundation that will lead toward building critical assets and a stable financial future.”
Un- and under-banked households pay a significant financial price in terms of unnecessary fees associated with alternative products. One of the main reasons someone may not have an account is a lack of understanding and comfort with financial institutions and various products and services. Perceptions about account costs or hidden fees can serve as a deterrent, where going with a known fee associated with check-cashing or payday loans is easier to plan for even if it is more costly. Heartland Alliance’s new speed banking approach seeks to change that.
Following a successful introduction during Money Smart Week, Heartland will be exploring additional Speed Banking program opportunities in the future. For more information, go to www.heartlandalliance.org/assetbuilding.