Digital Banking for Everyone: Affinity Plus Launches Nation’s First All-Digital Banking Cooperative – Bank Dora Financial

  • Press Release
September 28, 2021

Bank Dora aims to reduce racial and economic disparities in banking access

ST. PAUL, MN. (September 28, 2021) –The nation’s first credit union based neo-bank app, 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 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.”

Most for-profit neo-bank/credit unions in the marketplace typically don’t cater to these individuals, because the economics are different from traditional 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 all members.”

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.; USALLIANCE Financial in ($2B in assets) in Rye, N.Y. Dora continues to seek additional credit union partners.

“Every day, our credit union seeks to help people, small businesses and communities achieve financial independence through the best service, products and rates. As a member-owned, not-for-profit organization, we’re excited about how Dora offers a specific option for people in our communities who need even more help getting started or turning around their finances,” said Brian Volkmann, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Affinity Plus.

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.

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About Bank Dora Financial

The nation’s first credit union based neo-bank app, 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    

Based in St. Paul, Minn., Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union is a not-for-profit, financial cooperative that puts people first above profits. Members of Affinity Plus receive maximum value through competitive rates, minimal fees, and unique, member-centric products and programs. Established in 1930, Affinity Plus has 28 branches located throughout Minnesota and is owned by more than 200,000 members. Affinity Plus has over $2 billion in assets. Additional information is available at www.affinityplus.org or by calling (800) 322-7228.