Digital banking for everyone: Service Credit Union launches nation’s first all-digital banking cooperative – Bank Dora Financial
Bank Dora aims to reduce racial and economic disparities in banking access
PORTSMOUTH, NH (September 27, 2021) — 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. Visit www.bankdora.com for more information.
“We want to change how people think about access to affordable and fair financial services,” said Bank Dora 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.”
The for-profit neo-banks in the marketplace typically don’t cater to these individuals, because the economics are different from mainstream 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 them.”
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.
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 ($9.8M in assets) in Marlborough, Mass.; Service Credit Union ($5B in assets) in Portsmouth, N.H.; and USALLIANCE Financial in ($2B in assets) in Rye, N.Y. Dora continues to seek additional credit union partners.
“Supporting the communities we serve, improving financial well-being and creating enduring relationships is at the heart of what we do. At Service Credit Union, we understand that financial service isn’t one-size- fits-all. We are excited, through Dora, that we will be able to extend our impact in order to provide a trusted financial partner for people in our community who need it the most,” said David Araujo, Service CU President-CEO.
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.
About Service Credit Union
A dynamic, member-owned, financial Cooperative, Service Credit Union is dedicated to providing a banking experience that improves our members’ lives and the communities in which they live. Established in 1957 to provide affordable credit to the Pease Air Force Base community and now the largest credit union in New Hampshire, with over $5 billion in assets and 50 branch locations in the New England region, North Dakota and Germany, we continue to provide a better future to our members all over the world. To learn more about Service Credit Union, please visit www.servicecu.org.
About Bank Dora Financial
The nation’s first neo-bank cooperative, Dora was founded in August 2021 to serve the 50 million Americans currently not participating in mainstream banking. Dedicated to financial inclusion, it includes a fully bilingual digital banking experience that supports low-moderate income individuals. Dora’s products meet Bank On standards for those outside the mainstream banking system. It currently is sponsored by four regional credit unions: Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union (Affinity Plus) headquartered in St. Paul, Minn.; Digital Federal Credit Union in Marlborough, Mass.; Service Federal Credit Union in Portsmouth, N.H.; USALLIANCE Financial in Rye, N.Y. Visit www.bankdora.com