Key provides unbanked Americans direct access to paychecks

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Key provides unbanked Americans direct access to paychecks

Tue, 06/22/2004 - 8:00pm -- tim

One of the nationâ¬"s largest financial
services companies wants to change the way some people think about
checking accounts. Beginning this week, KeyBank (NYSE: KEY) will offer a
simple and convenient alternative to those individuals who do not qualify
for a traditional account.
Key Checkless Access was designed to provide immediate access to direct
deposit paychecks via Keyâ¬"s nationwide ATM network. This electronic
account is an alternative to costly check cashing facilities, providing
customers with the convenience of a regular checking account without the
hassles of writing checks and balancing a checkbook.
Nationally, at least 10 percent of U.S. households donâ¬"t have a
relationship with a bank, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
A large proportion of these households fall within the low- and
moderate-income (LMI) range. And, in the 12 states where Key has a retail
presence, up to 40 percent of LMI households do not have checking
accounts.
"Weâ¬"ve worked hard to better understand the business opportunities and
needs existing in our urban communities," explained Bruce Murphy,
president of Key Community Development Banking. "We recognize that one of
the most immediate needs is convenient, safe access to money--particularly
paychecks. While Key offers a full range of checking accounts, a
traditional account may not always be the best answer."
Many unbanked individuals have a record on ChexSystems, indicating that
the individual has defaulted on previous accounts. Rather than wait the
five years required to re-enter the banking system, Key Checkless Access
provides an opportunity to those on ChexSystems, due to non-fraudulent
account mismanagement, to re-enter earlier and avoid more costly
check-cashing options.
"Key Checkless Access provides a viable option to such individuals to
enter or re-enter the banking system," said Murphy. "Weâ¬"re trying to be
more responsive to a broader range of customer needs. Individuals who may
have mismanaged their accounts in the past are looking for guidance and a
second chance to have a banking relationship."
Key Checkless Access accepts deposits of non-government payroll checks
from employers who offer direct deposit. Other features include:
No monthly maintenance service charge

No minimum balance requirement

Free, unlimited use of Keyâ¬"s ATM network for withdrawals of up to

$1,000 per day No fee for using ATM cards on purchases when using a PIN

Free online banking to check balances, transactions Free Key bill pay

making paying bills on-line more convenient Monthly statements

itemizing transaction details
In addition, special safeguards have been built into the account to help
ensure the account is not mismanaged. All of these services are provided
to the client for a small percentage of each deposit.
Over the past few years, KeyBank has been conducting extensive research
and developing products and services for markets that historically have
been underserved by the banking industry. Specially designed products and
financial literacy services were introduced last year in Cleveland. Future
plans call for expansion to select markets throughout Keyâ¬"s urban
communities.
KeyBank N.A. is one of Vermontâ¬"s largest financial services companies. A
strong proponent for local economic growth, Key companies provide
investment management, retail and commercial banking, retirement, consumer
finance, and investment banking products and services to individuals and
companies throughout the United States and, for certain businesses,
internationally. The company's businesses deliver their products and
services through KeyCenters and offices; a network of approximately 2,400
ATMs; telephone banking centers (1.800.KEY2YOU); and a Web site, Key.com,
that provides account access and financial products 24 hours a day.