Unbankables? Not on our Watch

September 30th, 2013

Millions of ordinary Americans don’t have a traditional banking relationship, not even a checking account or debit card. This may come as a surprise to many, but some of your neighbors, family and friends may not use banking services, ever.

The banking industry coined a phrase that Adams Dairy Bank takes great exception to. Unbankables. The term implies that many Americans simply don’t qualify for a banking relationship because of prior credit or account problems.

We don’t consider people unbankable and the term is ridiculous, if not offensive.

Many large banking institutions make it clear that some people are not welcome at their bank, driving millions to use alternatives like check-cashing stores and pre-paid credit and debit cards. But there are true community banks that are easily adapting to societal needs and not turning customers away. Instead, they find creative ways to meet customers’ needs.

An entire generation of young adults under 30 years old is defined as digital natives. They never have and never will use a traditional paper checkbook. This seems absurd to old-school bankers who still use terms like unbankable, but it is true. Small community banks understand this and accommodate this important population of customers.

Perhaps some people simply don’t trust local banks and refuse using traditional banking services by choice. And who can blame them for wanting to avoid a large, archaic institution that continues to cajole and confuse its customers? One day there are monthly account and debit card fees, and the next there aren’t.

Small, flexible, true community banks, like Adams Dairy Bank, work hard to find ways to serve all customers, sometimes in nontraditional ways. This is entrepreneurship at work. We’re proud of our roots in the community and we’re always looking for ways to give back.  To serve.  To make our piece of Blue Springs and surrounding areas a little better.

There is no such thing as an unbankable customer at Adams Dairy Bank and many other banks like ours. It doesn’t mean there aren’t rules and consequences for breaking them. It simply means that we aren’t restricting the benefits of using banking services by forcing old ways of doing business on our customers.

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