With a new effort to reach the unbanked, Southern Bancorp CEO Darrin Williams' Big Idea comes to life. For many low-income Arkansans and their families, paying for basic needs — including rent, utilities and food — can mean jumping through costly hoops. Alternative financial services such as payday lenders, pawn shops and check cashing services charge steep fees that add up quickly. The Bank On Arkansas+ initiative hopes to combat this. The unbanked are defined as individuals and families with no checking or savings account. According to an FDIC national survey, 9.7 percent of Arkansas households were unbanked in 2015. But even some households with bank accounts are still vulnerable to...
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Banking for all in Arkansas