Last week, Bank of America announced it’s doing away with free checking for customers who don’t (or can’t) maintain a daily balance of at least $1,500 or sign up for direct deposit. The decision has understandably caused something of an uproar among financial consumers.
Mega banks, which have been disappointing customers for years, continue to unabashedly demonstrate that their chief priority is profit. Products that require investment, even those that help their customers live a financially healthy life, are increasingly finding themselves on the chopping block. The slashing of free checking, and many other moves like it, appears to be a blatant disregard for the shifting financial habits and preferences of consumers.
Fortunately, there is the credit union alternative. Long-time advocates for fair, dignified and affordable banking, credit unions are also keenly aware of how their members’ needs are evolving. Several of the emerging trends identified by credit unions point to consumers’ continued need for affordable banking. Here are just a few:
Gig Economy Workers Earn Differently
Direct deposit is not a given for everyone. In fact, for some, it’s not even an option. And with increasing participation in the Gig Economy, even fewer consumers in the future may have access to direct deposit from their jobs.
Americans Use Their Money Right Away
Twenty-four percent of adults say they have no money saved for an emergency. Many people in the U.S. are living paycheck to paycheck, struggling to pay their monthly bills (one of which should not be a $12 fee for “free” checking.) Indeed, free or low-fee financial services continue to be important to many American families.
Traditional Checking is Backbone of Emerging Payments
As banking and payments go digital, consumers want to pay in a way that is easy, intuitive and highly secure. Many of us also expect to be able to send and receive payments instantly. Today, a majority of new and emerging digital payments are made possible by the traditional checking account.
If you’re fed up with mega-banks changing the rules on you overnight, consider making a switch. There is a credit union in your area standing by, ready to show you how people, not profits, come first at their financial institutions. They’re easy to find, too, right here.