Find a Bank

Choosing the right bank and the right account starts with assessing your own banking needs.

  • How many checks do you expect to write each month?
  • Are you likely to do your banking in person at a bank branch?  Over the internet? At ATMs?
  • Will you need overdraft protection?
  • How important are other bank products and services?

Basic Banking for Massachusetts standards  

All Basic Banking for Massachusetts accounts are low cost but accounts differ by bank.  For example, some banks have limitations on the number of checking account withdrawals each month.  If you are likely to make more than the number of allowed withdrawals, costs can increase.

But, this is a good place to start.  Review the standards below and ask participating banks about finding an account that best match your preferences.  If it turns out that a Basic Banking account will not meet your needs, you may have other options.

Some banks offer Bank On certified accounts, another initiative that encourages banks to offer low-cost accounts. Bank On Boston and Bank On Worcester County can connect you to banks offering products that meet national Bank On standards. Partnership for Financial Equity supports the Bank On goal to encourage the widespread availability of safe, low cost transactional products.

All Basic Banking checking accounts:

  • Require no more than $25 to open the account
  • Charge a monthly fee of no more than $3
  • Provide at least 15 free withdrawals, including at least eight (8) checks per month
  • Charge no more than $1 for each withdrawal over the allowable number of free withdrawals

All Basic Banking savings accounts:

  • Require no more than $10 to open the account
  • Charge no monthly fees on account balances of $10 or more
  • Charge a monthly fee of no more than $1
  • Pay interest on all account balances of $10 or more

Basic Banking accounts cannot be conditional, e.g. limited to those who open both a checking and savings account or to those with Direct Deposit.

To help meet the goals of Basic Banking for Massachusetts, Partnership for Financial Equity also recommends that participating banks adopt the following procedures:

  • Under Basic Banking for Massachusetts, it is expected that participating banks will use their customary account opening guidelines.  However, banks are strongly encouraged to exercise flexibility by accepting alternative forms of identification.
  • Banks should fully disclose all services counted as a checking account withdrawal.
  • It is expected that participating banks will use controls to assure that an applicant has not had prior difficulties with deposit account(s).
  • Both the basic checking and savings accounts should only be closed for the same reasons that other accounts are closed.

Persons with a basic checking or savings account should not be limited exclusively to ATMs or any form of non-teller related is a service of Partnership for Financial Equity