Media Coverage

Kiplinger: Alternatives to Traditional Banks

If you’re fed up with banks, you’re far from alone. TD Bank’s ads that show customers being bullied by a booming, disembodied voice play into that frustration. And in a recent report from the Deloitte Center for Financial Services, 65 percent of customers surveyed believed that banks “were not being fair in the way they implement new fees.”

Despite such rampant disillusionment, most people hang on to their accounts. Only about 8 percent of U.S. households say they don’t have a checking or savings account, according to a Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. survey, and the main reasons are familiar: People believe that they don’t have enough money to put into an account, they say they don’t want or need an account, or they can’t get an account because they don’t have the necessary documentation or good enough credit. Still, a small percentage of those without accounts say they don’t like dealing with or don’t trust banks.


Prepaid cards are notorious for their a la carte charges; a recent Pew Charitable Trusts study found that most impose between seven and 15 fees. Many impose a monthly fee, with a median of about $6. Charges are sometimes levied to activate a card, use an ATM, make a purchase using a PIN, and call a customer-service line.

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Prepaid Cards Research Project
Prepaid Cards

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