Think of it as a second-chance checking; Stratis pioneered this program in 2007 to fill a gap. Small businesses experience frustration when they attempt to pay employees via direct deposit and discover some don’t qualify for a checking account. StartFresh meets the needs of the underserved and also creates cross-sell opportunities. The program is now available in over 50 banks and 2 credit unions.
two women in a bank
Life gives us second chances and fresh new starts.

The popularity of courtesy overdraft programs combined with recent COVID financial stress has resulted in many potential checking customers not qualifying for a traditional checking account. With fewer customers qualifying, checking account growth rates are lower, and account acquisition costs are higher. To help financial institutions overcome this challenge, the value of a product Stratis created has become even more viable to change this trend. Over the past 12 years with great success they installed it’s StartFresh Checking® program in over 50 banks and 2 credit unions.

Helping Customers build a Financial Foundation

At Banterra Bank, Head of Retail Debra Becht saw that they were turning down about 15% of checking applicants due to past closure history. She didn’t like losing potential customers, and more importantly not helping people with their banking needs. Further, their small business customers were also experiencing frustration: they wanted to pay all of their employees via direct deposit, but many employees don’t qualify for a traditional checking account due to previous closure history.

The StartFresh program has been a great solution. It helps Banterra Bank serve a previously underserved segment in a way that meets their needs, is profitable, and earns compliance favor. As Debra recently shared:

…we had our quarterly compliance committee meeting yesterday. We love this product and the performance. It was a great CRA factor in our recent exam. Just wanted to say thanks for all you do.

What worked for Banterra can work for your bank or credit union as well; through this program, your StartFresh account holders will:

  • Avoid the embarrassment and inconvenience of not qualifying for a checking account
  • Rebuild their financial reputation
  • Feel more empowered and more “in control” of their finances
  • Get direct deposit for payroll and government checks
  • Avoid costly check cashing fees, and
  • Eventually “graduate” to a more favorable traditional checking product!

By implementing StartFresh Checking, your bank:

  • Serves more customers
  • Increases customer satisfaction
  • Establishes longer lasting and more loyal customers
  • Grows deposit and checking accounts
  • Enhances fee income
  • Opens accounts more efficiently
  • Creates cross-sell opportunities
  • Serves a new segment of customers in a consistent and compliant manner.

Stratis has pioneered this program, implementing it most effectively since 2007. No other firm has more experience in the “second chance” space. With unemployment at an all time high, there is a population that truly needs this option.

Stratis is available to speak with you about your particular challenges to see if StartFresh Checking can work for you!

"...we had our quarterly compliance committee meeting yesterday. We love this product and the performance. It was a great CRA factor in our recent exam. Just wanted to say thanks for all you do."

Brenda BechtHead of Retail, Banterra Bank

Tim Bode

Tim Bode is the owner at Stratis Technologies, Inc.

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