Working closely with our Bank On National Advisory Board and other key stakeholders, the CFE Fund has released these Bank On National Account Standards. These standards provide local programs with a benchmark for account partnerships with financial institutions, and include both core and recommended features. The Standards were inspired by the 2012 Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s Model Safe Accounts Template. View the Spanish language version of the Bank On National Account Standards here.
The CFE Fund supports local Bank On coalitions through best practices found in our Bank On Coalition Playbook. Chapters cover a range of topics; newly-released chapters include best practices for Programmatic Banking Access Integration, a handout for financial institutions on the benefits of Bank On National Account Certification, guidelines for Launching or Relaunching a Coalition, local Strategies for Navigating Financial Institution Partnerships and Account Certification, a Bank On Coalition Logic Model, and a guide for using local Bank On data from the Bank On National Data Hub.
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The CFE Fund has a number of funding opportunities to support banking access efforts:
The CFE Fund’s Bank On Startup Grant supports new or newly re-launched Bank On Coalitions in laying the foundation and developing the necessary infrastructure for coalition success. Grantees receive funding and technical assistance to develop a plan for launching and sustaining their coalition; technical assistance includes self-paced modules on the foundation of coalition development and banking access efforts, as well as a cohort-based learning community. At the conclusion of this grant, coalitions launch or re-launch, as outlined in their implementation plan, and become eligible for subsequent CFE Fund funding opportunities.
The CFE Fund’s Bank On Capacity Grant aims to assist leadership of local Bank On coalitions in expanding banking access by providing capacity support for an existing Bank On coalition that has, or envisions, coalition leadership that is at least half time of that person’s portfolio. Grantees work one-on-one with the CFE Fund team to build out coalition activities, including increasing the number of certified accounts available locally, and designing new programmatic integrations. The CFE Fund also convenes a grantee learning community for peer-to-peer support. The Capacity Grant is renewable for coalitions who meet grant objectives.
Banking Connect Pilot Initiatives
Building off the successes of the national Bank On and Summer Jobs Connect initiatives, the CFE Fund is testing different ways to integrate banking access into existing municipal and community programs; for example, the CFE Fund is supporting local partnerships that link high school age youth and their families to the financial mainstream through safe and affordable bank accounts, as well as innovative programmatic approaches to helping unbanked people open safe and affordable accounts when they start a new job.
Pilot partners identify ways to integrate banking access into existing youth and workforce development programs, and have established local connections with financial institutions to offer bank accounts certified as meeting the Bank On National Account Standards or the Youth Account Priorities. The goal of these pilots is to learn more about how existing programs can leverage payment touchpoints to support account opening for program participants.
Bank On Fellowship
The CFE Fund’s Bank On Fellowship provides funding and intensive, cohort-based in-kind technical assistance to support a full-time Fellow to lead their coalition’s activities. These grants provide match funding of up to $45,000 per year for two years to support Bank On coalitions in employing a full-time Fellow to lead coalition strategy and operations. The CFE Fund will announce the next cohort of the Bank On Fellowship shortly.