Citi is working with non-profit organisation Catalyst Miami on a tech-based financial inclusion programme that it believes could be replicated across the country.
The Ways 2 Wealth initiative will enable Catalyst Miami clients in Florida to apply for a savings account online through a purpose-built web portal.
Bob Annibale, global director, Citi Community Development and Citi Microfinance, says: “It seems simple, but by enabling low-income individuals to make fewer stops on their way to financial inclusion while working directly with their trusted nonprofit, we think it will have a meaningful impact.
Alongside the ability to take deposits from ATMs in local convenience stores, Ways 2 Wealth participants will also attend trainings, engage in financial coaching sessions with Catalyst Miami, and set their own personal financial goals. Participants who successfully complete the programme will receive incentives of up to $125 after six months.
“Initiatives like this are critical in a state like Florida, which suffers from high rates of financial exclusion,” says Annibale. “Ways 2 Wealth is just one example of how the touch points for banking underserved populations must – and will – be different than touch points of the past, so that more people can access financial products for their economic stability.”