KeyBank Leads the Way in Serving the Underserved

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KeyBank Leads the Way in Serving the Underserved

$250 Million in Checks Cashed, 32,000 Individuals Educated, KeyBasic Credit Line Lauded
Each year, KeyBank helps hardworking individuals discover and claim the Earned Income Tax Credit during Super Refund Saturday. Pictured, KeyBank employee Jamika Hilliard helps a local resident with her taxes in Tacoma, Washington.
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.@KeyBank leads in serving underserved:$250MM checks cashed, 32K individuals educated, KeyBasic Credit Line lauded
Tuesday, October 21, 2014 - 1:35pm

CAMPAIGN: Serving the Underserved

CONTENT: Press Release

CLEVELAND, October 21, 2014 /3BL Media/ - Since launching KeyBank Plus in 2004, KeyBank has been a leader in responsible innovation for the underserved. KeyBank Plus is a unique combination of solutions which goes beyond “traditional” banking, creates economic stability and wealth-building, and offers reasonably priced products with features that ensure responsible use. For its approach to the underserved, Key has been recognized as an industry leader by the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI), the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC), the Federal Reserve, the U.S. House Finance Committee, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

In states where Key has a presence, there are approximately 1.7 million low- to moderate-income (LMI) households. Many LMI individuals do not have bank accounts or access to credit, and Key recognizes this important segment of the population as the “underserved.” Unfortunately, many underserved individuals turn to payday lenders or check cashing stores as a source of banking and receive no help establishing a credit history, breaking the cycle of debt, or establishing savings. KeyBank Plus does not require a customer to open a KeyBank account, and includes the following:

Check cashing: Prior to the introduction of KeyBank Plus, many individuals had no choice but to pay high check-cashing fees, and KeyBank Plus has become an attractive alternative. Customers and non-customers alike can take advantage of Key’s payroll and government issued check cashing service and reasonable prices, which are 1.5 percent the face value of the check, versus the typical 3-7 percent found at check cashing stores. Since 2004, Key has cashed more than 375,000 checks totaling more than $250 million, and the service is found in nearly 300 “KeyBank Plus” branches in 12 KeyBank markets, from Alaska to Maine.

KeyBasic Credit Line: This unsecured revolving credit line provides access to available funds when short-term financing is needed and serves as overdraft protection for a KeyBank checking account (except a Hassle-Free account). Due to the way it is structured, the line does not start an ongoing cycle of dependency for the client and so is preferable to deposit advance products. The product offers preferable APR and repayment terms, up to 60 months.  Key provides the product as an opportunity for checking account customers who qualify and would otherwise be declined for more traditional forms of credit. This credit product was highlighted as exemplary by the U.S. House Finance Committee in 2012.

Loan Assist: a loan program designed to assist clients in establishing good credit while building a savings. 

Money orders: Fee-free money orders are available to KeyBank Plus members, with a limit of five orders per check cashed. Additional money orders are subject to the standard money order fee.

Savings products: Key’s savings products include a first-time savings account with an 18-month waiver fee for those consumers who are challenged to reach the minimum monthly balance.  The account can be used as overdraft protection for numerous checking accounts.

Key Coverage Checking:  This checking account is designed to help clients save on overdraft fees.

Free tax preparation: During Key’s annual Super Refund Saturday, Key helps clients and non-clients alike prepare their taxes for free and claim important Earned Income Tax Credit dollars. In 2014, more than 1,100 families took advantage of the service in 14 metropolitan areas, $2.9 million in federal and state refunds was generated, and $1.4 million in Earned Income Tax Credit was discovered and put back in the pockets of hard-working individuals.

Home ownership products:  Key helps people assess the right time to buy a home and the bank’s mortgage products can help people purchase, refinance, or improve a home in a responsible manner, even if they don’t have a long credit history. 

Promoting Financial Wellness:  Key believes financial education is an individual’s key to achieving financial stability, growth, and wealth. When communities are well-versed in the basics of personal finance, the value of Key’s products and services can be fully realized, and ultimately, local economies are better sustained. For all these reasons, Key provides free financial education for customers and non-customers alike. Key's “Learn and Earn” curriculum consists of 15 free classes and is taught in 23 markets by more than 600 KeyBank Certified Financial Educators. Since 2004, Key has educated more than 32,000 people on topics like managing money, getting and keeping good credit, and budgeting. In addition to in-person classes, Key offers online courses in English and Spanish, through its Financial Wellness Center at Personal financial information and tools can also be found on Key’s website at

Hassle-Free Account:  In June of 2014, KeyBank launched the new “Hassle-Free Account,” as a straightforward way for customers to make deposits, track money, obtain cash and make payments without worrying about potential overdraft or other unexpected fees. There is no monthly fee or minimum balance requirements for the account and no overdraft fees or possibility of bounced checks. The account does not include paper checks; rather, it provides unlimited access to free digital banking including online and mobile banking and bill payment.

KeyBank Plus is a part of Key’s responsible approach to banking. To learn more about Key’s responsible approach to banking, citizenship, and operations, please see KeyCorp’s 2013 Corporate Responsibility Report:


About KeyCorp

KeyCorp (NYSE: KEY) was organized more than 160 years ago and is headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio. One of the nation's largest bank-based financial services companies, Key has assets of approximately $89.9 billion. Key provides deposit, lending, cash management and investment services to individuals, small and medium-sized businesses under the name of KeyBank N.A. Key also provides a broad range of sophisticated corporate and investment banking products, such as merger and acquisition advice, public and private debt and equity, syndications and derivatives to middle market companies in selected industries throughout the United States under the KeyBanc Capital Markets trade name. For more information on how clients turn To Key, visit KeyBank is Member FDIC.





Marylee Gotch



Keywords: Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship | Communities | Education | banking | csr | keybank | underserved

CAMPAIGN: Serving the Underserved

CONTENT: Press Release