ST. LOUIS, Mo. – May 12, 2022 — Commerce Bank launched Velocity Pay®, a prepaid debit card to help the underserved gain access to traditional financial services.
Commerce Bank’s Consumer Card Team shared a card concept and various positioning options with team members in the bank’s Advanced Leadership Development Program (ALDP) and asked them to help brainstorm different ways to utilize the product. Participants in ALDP, who represent various areas of the bank, recognized that the benefits of the Velocity Pay® prepaid card aligned with the needs of those underserved by many banks. After researching the topic, they recommended positioning the card as a prepaid debit card for underserved consumers and seeking Bank On’s certification from the Cities for Financial Empowerment (CFE) Fund.
The CFE Fund’s national Bank On platform supports local coalition and financial institution efforts to connect consumers to safe, affordable bank accounts. Commerce Bank earned the respected Bank On certification in September 2021.
“Velocity Pay® is a perfect example of how Commerce Bank strives to meet consumer needs by having a long-term view and remaining curious,” says Paula Petersen, Executive Vice President and Director of Specialty Consumer Lending and Strategic Services. “By remaining curious and collaborating across the bank, our team developed a product that it is flexible enough to respond to the changing needs of the people in the communities we serve. The rising leaders in ALDP helped us expand our product offering and deliver a solution that will help unbanked consumers get much needed access to traditional banking services. We are very happy we can add Bank On’s seal of approval to the product.”
“More than 100 financial institution partners have stepped up to offer Bank On certified accounts,” says Jonathan Mintz, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund. “These affordable, secure, and productive accounts, and the close to 90 Bank On coalitions across the country, are a powerful tool to bring more vulnerable consumers into the financial mainstream.”
The timing couldn’t be better. According to research from the FDIC, approximately 7.1 million U.S. households were considered unbanked in 2019.1 That means no one in the household had a checking or savings account at a bank. Further research by the FDIC reveals many reasons why consumers lack a basic transaction account, such as not enough money for the minimum balance; distrust of financial institutions; high or unpredictable fees; or identification, credit, or banking history problems. This often leads them to use expensive alternative financial services, including check cashers, payday lenders, and pawn shops that charge high fees for financial services that fail to help people get ahead.2
Velocity Pay® is available nationwide. Cardholders can activate their card online or over the phone, check their account balances via a mobile app, and deposit checks using the Ingo Money App®. They do not need a checking account and will not be assessed overdraft fees. Cardholders are encouraged to use the card for direct deposit, or they can add cash through Visa: ReadyLink available at retailers including Walgreens, 7-Eleven®, and Safeway®.
Learn more about Velocity Pay® online.
About Commerce Bank
With $35 billion in assets3, Commerce Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ: CBSH) is a registered bank holding company offering a full line of banking services, including payment solutions, investment management and securities brokerage. Commerce Bank, a subsidiary of Commerce Bancshares, Inc., leverages more than 155 years of proven strength and experience to help individuals and businesses solve financial challenges. In addition to offering payment solutions across the U.S., Commerce Bank currently operates full-service banking facilities across the Midwest including the St. Louis and Kansas City metropolitan areas, Springfield, Central Missouri, Central Illinois, Wichita, Tulsa, Oklahoma City, and Denver. It also maintains commercial offices in Dallas, Houston, Cincinnati, Nashville, Des Moines, Indianapolis, and Grand Rapids. Commerce delivers high-touch service and sophisticated financial solutions at regional branches, commercial offices, ATMs, online, mobile and through a 24/7 customer service line. Learn more at www.commercebank.com.
About CFE Fund and Bank On
The CFE Fund’s mission is to leverage municipal engagement to improve the financial stability of households with low and moderate incomes by embedding financial empowerment strategies into local government infrastructure. As part of this work, the CFE Fund leads a national movement supporting local Bank On coalitions with strategic and financial support, as well as by liaising with national banking, regulatory, and nonprofit organization partners to expand banking access and connect it to municipal entities and services. joinbankon.org/about/