By: Pete Miller
September 6, 2010
Consumers who do not have checking accounts or savings accounts may find it more difficult to have a normal financial life, relying instead on services like check-cashing stores.
As a result, they may face higher fees, although the Department of the Treasury announced recently announced a pilot program to try and help these individuals. During the next tax season, low-cost accounts will be offered that will give people a place to put their returns from Uncle Sam.
Michael Barr, assistant Treasury secretary for financial institutions, noted that a tax return is often the largest single payment a person may see in a year.
"That's why tax season is a great opportunity to deliver safe, low-cost financial products to the unbanked and underbanked that will help those Americans build stronger foundations for their financial futures," Barr said.
Those whom the Treasury deems eligible for the program will be contacted through a direct-mail campaign or through inserts in their paychecks. Included will be instructions on how to take part in the pilot.
A recent report from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. noted that millions of consumers in the country may be without traditional checking or savings accounts.