The American Bankers Association today issued a call on U.S. banks to help foster financial inclusion by offering Bank On-certified accounts.

Bank On-certified accounts aim to expand access to banking services and reduce the number of unbanked and underbanked Americans. Account features include minimal costs, no overdraft fees, and foundational transaction capabilities such as bill payment. The Bank On initiative was created by national nonprofit organization the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund), in order to ensure that everyone has access to a safe, affordable transactional banking account.

ABA President and CEO Rob Nichols said:

“Despite a strong and intensely competitive financial services industry, we know that millions of Americans – and families of color in particular – remain outside the mainstream banking system and are missing the economic opportunities that come from having a bank account. By offering Bank On-certified accounts with the help of their core providers, America’s banks can open doors of opportunity to new and returning customers, demonstrating the banking industry’s commitment to financial inclusion.”

Jonathan Mintz, President and CEO of the CFE Fund, said:

“We welcome ABA’s strong support for the Bank On movement. By urging banks of all sizes to join this initiative, particularly community banks, we can welcome millions of Americans into the banking system safely and efficiently. We also deeply appreciate the critical role the nation’s core providers are playing to make it happen.”

According to the ABA, more than 40 banks already offer Bank On-certified accounts today. Additionally, many banks may already offer accounts that meet the Bank On Standards, but may not realize that they qualify for a Bank On certification, the ABA said.

The ABA noted that the nation’s core providers including Fiserv, FIS, Jack Henry, Finastra and 16 other core companies have committed to simplify the process for their bank customers to create and offer accounts that qualify for Bank On certification.

Todd Horvath, head of Account Processing at Fiserv, said:

“At Fiserv, we actively encourage diversity, respect and inclusion. We and the financial institutions we serve now have another opportunity to put these values into action by enabling Bank On-certified accounts.”

Nichols added:

“The core providers deserve credit for stepping up to support this important initiative and their bank customers. Their partnership will make it easier for banks across the country to offer these accounts and join the Bank On movement.”