Posted by William Charles on March 19, 2019
Checking Accounts

Published on March 19th, 2019 | by William Charles

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Chase Launches New ‘Secure Checking’ Account, Targeted At Unbanked

Yesterday Chase launched a new checking account targeted towards unbanked Americans (those without a current checking account). The new account is called ‘Secure Checking’, here are the basics:

  • $4.95 monthly fee
  • Checks are not available
  • Checks can be deposited for free
  • Comes with a debit card
  • Overdrafts are not allowed

Realistically this type of account is an attempt to compete with check cashing places and prepaid cards such as American Express’ Serve and Bluebird. Chase does not use Chexsystems so for users that have had checking accounts before that have been closed due negative behavior (check overdrafts, unsatisfied balances) it should still be possible to get this new account. Interestingly I haven’t actually been able to find this new checking account for sign up on the Chase website.

A $4.95 monthly fee isn’t high, but given that there are so many credit unions and banks that now offer checking accounts with no monthly fee it’s not particularly attractive. I imagine that this sort of account wouldn’t be needed for most readers, but if it is then my suggestion would be to visit your most local/convenient credit union and see what sort of solutions they have available to you.



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Dan - Legal Bank Robber
Dan - Legal Bank Robber

They should offer a reloadable card, ya know for the “underbanked”.

Dylan
Dylan

Bluebird is really the pinnacle of checkng for the unbanked imo. No monthly fees at all (really hard to find for an account for the unbanked), comes with debit card, can add cash at the register.

Obvoiusly not as good as something like schwab, fidelity, or alliant. But if you cant get a bank account, its the best you can hope for.

Dan - Legal Bank Robber
Dan - Legal Bank Robber

Agreed.

Celia
Celia

Isn’t that what the the Chase Liquid card is?

Dan - Legal Bank Robber
Dan - Legal Bank Robber

that doesn’t work for what I need it to do.

Don L

There’s the Chase Starbird too, but no success with it for me.

Bonus_Chaser
Bonus_Chaser

Hey Dan - Legal Bank Robber I have a question for you. Do you mind if I email you directly at d****24***@gmail?

Dan - Legal Bank Robber
Dan - Legal Bank Robber

that’s fine

Max
Max

Wasn’t this the Chase liquid product? Did Chase just change the name?

Eric S
Eric S

I’m trying to figure out how this fits into the strategy with other Chase products – Finn is entirely free and has similar features (no checks, debit card, check deposit). If you don’t like the Finn app, it works fine in the Chase app and appears to be a “real” Chase checking (and useless savings) account otherwise.

On the other hand, Liquid has a monthly fee and allows ATM access, but if you can do without that, the prepaid Starbucks Rewards Visa is free (although I think both that and Liquid aren’t quite featured enough to qualify as “checking” accounts by most people’s definitions).

Also, it looks like the links for Liquid now redirect to the Starbucks prepaid card…perhaps it’s discontinued?

bank
bank

there is no chase strategy. Just throwing anything against the wall to see if something sticks. Yesterday alone, they had like 3-4 different initiatives announced and not one of them was logical.

they still cant build a chase pay app that is functional. 2.5 years after product launch.

it’s a complete scattershot approach over there. They had some “success” depending on how you define it, with the CSR launch. And since then, they just keep trying new shit hoping for some more magic.

Eric S
Eric S

Ha! I think you’re right – between different promotions in-branch or online (for some users the online ones may be better), a few different competing checking accounts, new programs (Chase Offers), and different technology plans, it seems that they really are just throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks.

While I appreciate that they have some semi-interesting, no-fee options (Starbucks prepaid debit, Finn) for certain use cases, it seems that they are due for something new in the credit card area (and not the Starbucks one or rehashed hotel ones). NFC-compatible (Apple/Android Pay) ATMs are a nice first-step, but I’d like to see interoperability with other banks and that—use a we-pay-your-fees-debit card from another bank with NFC at Chase. I am just glad that they finally made the iPad app worthwhile, as most people I know had resorted to using the mobile site instead.

I’d almost argue that the first step is to find products that are weak or redundant when compared with competitors, and rearranging the product lines from there.

Black Bear
Black Bear

The Walmart Money card is another option that allows folks to pay bills, direct deposit, and they have a “vault” feature for savings. Not sure if it pays interest.

Jake
Jake

Sucks that the liquid card is going away… that was great for loading vanilla VGCs at CVS for free onto it, then transferred it right to my regular Chase Checking account.

wwllmm
wwllmm

Ha!

Shalom
Shalom

Hi. Do we know if non-citizens or in fact, if people who live abroad, can open this account? Thanks.

Peter
Peter

Feels weird that a checking account makes no checks available

akjohnny
akjohnny

the no check… checking account.

Sevillada
Sevillada

Probably the reason that it’s not otherwise a savings account, for example, is that those have very strict laws, so i guess the only other option is “checking”

Celia
Celia

I’ve started seeing other banks offer that. Fifth-Third has an version called express banking with similar services. It works great for bill pay for a lot of people. Perfect for those that use the currency exchange to cash their checks (for a fee) and get money orders (for a fee) to pay their bills.

Matthew
Matthew

A checking account upon which one cannot have checks…they seriously need to update their nomenclature.

Sevillada
Sevillada

Overdrafts not allowed lol, don’t they know that’s how banks make a lot of money from poor people? …from the overdraft fees

Ann
Ann

That’s why this account has a mandatory monthly fee instead. IMO for those in need of an account like this, a predictable small fee is a lot better risk than the possibility of unpredictable larger fees that often happen several in a row at the worst possible time in the person’s life.

Sevillada
Sevillada

The problem is that many times they rely on the charge going thru and then paying a fee for it, which is stupid, but they do it. In this case the charge wouldn’t go thru and they would be stuck twice.
Better, i agree, but they might not see it that way

Krista B
Krista B

I suppose the main difference between this and bluebird, etc. is that this is a “Real” bank that has checks. (Even Netspend accounts have a routing and account number, even if not really intended to be used for making online payments.)

A $4.95 monthly fee for the ability to write checks seems a little steep to me, but I suppose for people that aren’t as familiar with banking as the users of this sight it might seem like their only option.

One possible benefit I see with this is: at least Chase banks are everywhere. I.e. if you’re going to spend $5 a month for a checking account, then Chase’s massive branch network is likely something that’s going to be of benefit to you. (Person’s more likely to make transactions in branch, etc.)

Jack
Jack

This account doesn’t allow you to write checks.

raekwon
raekwon

Not only that, but you can send checks via Bluebird.

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