NEW YORK — Hembert Figueroa just wanted a taco.So he was surprised to learn the dollar bills in his pocket were no good at Dos Toros Taqueria in Manhattan, one of a small but growing number of establishments across the U.S. where customers can only pay by card or smartphone.Cash-free stores are generating a backlash among some activists and liberal-leaning policymakers who say the practice discriminates against people like Figueroa, who either lack bank accounts or rely on cash for many transactions. Figueroa, an ironworker, had to stand to the side, holding his taco, until a sympathetic cashier helped him find another customer willing to pay for his meal with a card in exchange for cash."I had money and I couldn't pay," he said. The issue got some high-profile attention this week when retail giant Amazon bowed to pressure from activists and agreed to accept cash at more than 30 cashless stores, including its Amazon Go convenience stores, which have no cashiers, and its book … [Read more...] about When your money’s no good here: Should cities require stores to accept cash?
City check cashers
April 12, 2019 by MSR News Online Leave a Comment Traditional banking doesn’t work for everyone — especially low-income communities. Whether there are issues of mistrust and a desire to avoid fees, bad financial decisions or flat out racism, many financially underserved communities buck the concept of banking with a branch. Often called unbanked or underbanked, these individuals instead use costly services such as check cashers, payday loans and bank accounts that charge excessive fees. According to the Center for Financial Services Innovation 2017 Market Size Study, underserved consumers spent $173 billion in fees and interest. Four Twin Cities nonprofits have teamed up with Prepare + Prosper to serve as distribution partners for the newly launched FAIR (Financial Access in Reach) Financial Solution to help break the cycle of paying to access money and build financial health and wealth. Designed to provide a scalable approach to close the financial inclusion gap, … [Read more...] about Twin Cities nonprofits unite to serve ‘underbanked’ communities
On Thursday, Feb. 14, the New York city council considered several legislative proposals to address cashless store policies. Council Member Richie Torres has sponsored legislation to prohibit retailers from not accepting cash, which would protect consumers who don’t have access to credit from discrimination. Another piece of legislation, sponsored by Council Member Fernando Cabrera, would require establishments that do not accept cash to clearly post signage of their cashless policy at all customer entrances. New Jersey recently passed legislation prohibiting cashless store policies, which is currently waiting to be signed into law by Governor Phil Murphy, and in Philadelphia they are also considering enacting a similar ban on cashless stores. In 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reported that 45 million American consumers do not have credit scores—almost half of all consumers living in low-income communities. In fact, 26 million of those were … [Read more...] about New York city council considering protections for people without credit, but we also need solutions
The Philadelphia pawnshop at the corner of Lancaster Avenue and Brooklyn Street wanted $16 to cash my paycheck. The Money Mart near Ninth and Market would charge $24 to give me my money. Luckily I have a bank account, so I didn’t have to fork over part of my pay last week to get cash. But some residents regularly pay fees ranging from 2 percent to cash payroll checks to 10 percent for personal checks because they lack bank accounts. Some experts predict that check-cashing outlets will go the way of the dodo bird as more people switch to moving money digitally. But the industry has shown recent revenue growth and has no shortage of customers. Roughly 4 percent of area households are “unbanked,” meaning they don’t have checking or savings accounts, according to a 2015 survey by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. An additional 19 percent in Greater Philadelphia are considered “underbanked” because they have bank accounts but still use … [Read more...] about How to find low-cost bank accounts in Philly
Banking program to provide alternatives for underserved communities Prepare + Prosper, Sunrise Banks team up to launch FAIR By Sarah Mosier Twin Cities-based nonprofit Prepare + Prosper has joined forces with Sunrise Banks to launch the pilot phase of its three-part FAIR (Financial Access in Reach) Financial Solution. Designed to aid financially underserved individuals in building credit and savings, FAIR is intended to help reduce the impact of high-cost fees and interest. Financially underserved individuals (oftentimes called unbanked or underbanked) who do not have access to fairly-priced or properly designed products, often rely on “wealth-stripping” sources such as check cashers, payday loans, and accounts that charge excessive fees. To help families gain financial well-being, the FAIR Financial Solution will include access to both checking and savings accounts with no monthly fees or minimum balance requirement. Credit can be … [Read more...] about Banking program to provide alternatives for underserved communities