About Us

Bank On Alabama is...

  • A collaborative initiative between community service organizations, municipalities, and local financial institutions across the state of Alabama.

  • Dedicated to helping improve the financial stability of the unbanked and underbanked residents of our community by connecting them to safe and affordable mainstream accounts in banks and credit unions, raising public awareness of these efforts and opportunities, and otherwise expanding access to financial education and other financial empowerment opportunities.

Our Mission Is To...

  • Empower unbanked and underbanked individuals through financial education and awareness to take the first steps toward financial stability.

  • Encourage unbanked and underbanked individuals to save and build security for themselves and their families by connecting with a financial institution through a Bank On product/service.

Our Goals are...

  • To reduce the number of individuals and households that rely on high-cost alternative financial services.
  • To increase the number of individuals and households that are able to engage with traditional financial institutions (banks and credit unions) to become a part of the mainstream financial community through an affordable product or service.
  • To conduct outreach to unbanked and underbanked individuals through messaging, financial education, and resources available to assist them in building a strong and stable financial future.
  • To increase the number of individuals participating in and completing financial education through financial institutions and community partners online and/or through individual sessions and group workshops.
  • To engage an optimum number of collaborative partners for achievement of goals, outreach, awareness, and long-term sunstainability of the Bank On South Alabama initiative.

Our History

Bank On Alabama was formed as a subgroup of the Alabama Asset Building Coalition (AABC) in 2010 by a group of concerned and like-minded leaders representing banks, credit unions, and non-profits.  The established Steering Committee members managed the investments made by financial institutions and disbursed the money into three Alabama regions in order for those communities to form local coalitions.  At this time, coalitions were formed in Birmingham, South Alabama, and Montgomery.  The coalitions ran as separate entities with their own set of standards and principles.  Bank On South Alabama was successfully launched in June 2014 and continued to foster partnerships around access to banking until the COVID 19 pandemic.  The group even secured a grant in the Bank On Fellows Pilot Program from the Cities for Financial Empowerment (CFE) which allowed them to hire a part time Bank On employee.

Inspired by the success of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s (FDIC’s) early Model Safe Accounts Pilot in 2011, the CFE Fund worked closely with the Bank On National Advisory Board and other stakeholders to develop the Bank On National Account Standards (NAS) and develop the next phase of Bank On initiatives.  The Bank On NAS provide local community programs with a benchmark for account partnerships with financial institutions. The updated account standards include expanded allowable bill pay functionality and core features such as low-cost, low-fee, no-overdraft transaction capabilities. Financial institutions with accounts that meet the NAS can apply for national certification through the CFE’s account online validation process.

In the fall of 2021, conversations around reviving the Bank On initiative in Alabama surfaced and the interested parties agreed that a state-wide initiative would be a better approach to ensure consistency in messaging throughout the state.   The Alabama Asset Building Coalition agreed to take on the Bank On initiative as a program of AABC.  They identified nine regions within Alabama which will have their own local coalitions; however, in comparison to the early coalitions, the nine regions will have the same messaging, marketing, and structure.  In 2022, Bank On Alabama will work to strengthen the existing coalitions and build partnerships in areas where there is no Bank On presence to ensure that all individuals, especially those from underserved areas of Alabama, have access to safe, affordable banking products.