Digital Banking for Everyone: Bank Dora Financial Launches Nation’s First All-Digital Banking Cooperative
The Credit Union industry’s first neo-bank strategy, Bank Dora Financial (Dora) is now open. Intended specifically for low-to-moderate income individuals who are currently underserved by the traditional banking industry, Dora combines the best of fintech mobile applications with an affordable checking account to bring modernized banking to virtually, everyone.
“We want to change how people think about access to affordable and fair financial services,” said Managing Director, Kristi Kenworthy. “Fifty million Americans are not participating in mainstream banking services because of barriers to opening, distrust of the banking system, gaps in awareness, past history, or lack of access – including the lack of a fully bilingual digital banking experience.”
Most for-profit neo-bank/credit unions in the marketplace typically don’t cater to these individuals, because the economics are different from traditional checking accounts. “Their balances are lower on average, and creditworthiness may take time to achieve,” said Kenworthy, adding, “The credit union movement is really made for offering products at scale that are safe and affordable for all members.”
The organization name is inspired by credit union pioneer Dora Maxwell, who helped charter hundreds of U.S. credit unions and believed everyone should have access to fair deposit products.
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With financial inclusion as the priority, the Dora Everyday Checking account features no minimum balance, no monthly maintenance fees, early payday with direct deposit, bill pay, a surcharge-free network of 30,000+ ATMs nationwide, and financial education opportunities – packaged in a fully bilingual experience.
A public launch was made at the Inclusiv Virtual 2021 Conference, Sept. 22-23, 2021 with guest speaker Kris VanBeek, CEO of USALLIANCE Financial. Dora was founded by four credit unions: Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union ($3.5B in assets) headquartered in St. Paul, Minn.; Digital Federal Credit Union ($9.8B in assets) in Marlborough, Mass.; Service Credit Union ($5B in assets) in Portsmouth, N.H.; USALLIANCE Financial in ($2B in assets) in Rye, N.Y. Dora continues to seek additional credit union partners.
Dora has been certified with Bank On National Account Standards, which identify critical product features for bank or credit union accounts appropriate to people outside of the mainstream banking system.
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