Below is a list from the Small Business Administration of Wisconsin's financial institutions that offer SBA Loans, including contact information/website links. This list DOES NOT include any financial institutions that have applied to become an SBA Lender for the purpose of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). (For a full list of all lenders that are participating in PPP and are licensed to do business in the state of Wisconsin, please click here.)

WBA encourages businesses to contact their lender to determine participation in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Please note that PPP is different than the PFP column in the list below (last updated on April 1, 2020 at 1:00 p.m.).

The PDF below, compiled by SBA, lists all lenders (alphabetically) that are participating in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and are licensed to do business in Wisconsin. Therefore, this list includes non-depository institutions and out-of-state or online lenders. WBA strongly recommends businesses work with local institutions that have a physical branch presence in the state. 

In addition, SBA has built a search tool to help businesses find SBA lenders. Access this tool here

By, Eric Skrum

Wisconsin banks are proactively working with their customers during the coronavirus crisis. The list below highlights a variety of programs offered. The list was compiled by the WBA using bank websites, news releases, and information from our membership. The list will be updated regularly as more information becomes available. Send updated information to WBA's Eric Skrum.

Last updated 04/01/2020 at 11:00 AM.

Bank Name Bank City Program Effective Dates
AbbyBank Abbotsford    
Alliance Bank Mondovi    
Ally   loan payments may be deferred up to 120 days, no charge on broker-assisted trades, paper statements or overnight outbound check processing until 120 days, invest support available every day 7 am-10 pm ET, no overdraft charges, no expediated charges or debit card or excessive transfers from savings or MMDA until July 16, 2020 22-Mar-20
American National Bank – Fox Cities Appleton    
Associated Bank Green Bay Fee suspension, consumer credit card payment relief, consumer and mortgage loan payment deferrals up to 90 days, no credit bureau impact, halt repos of vehicles/RVs/Boats for 60 days, suspend residential foreclosure for 60 days unless federal govt requires otherwise, suspend loan late payment fees for April 2020, Small business loans payment deferral for up to 90 days, credit card fees waived, late payment fees for April 2020 waived, offering SBA options Available now
Badger Bank Fort Atkinson    
Bank First Manitowoc The no-penalty offer allows you to make one partial or complete CD withdrawal without penalty; Waived telephone transfer fees; We are offering a variety of loan relief programs tailored to meet your needs. The terms of any payment deferral or extension will be disclosed to you at the time of the request; suspending foreclosure actions on residential properties for 60 days, unless required by federal or government agencies; Suspension of repossession actions for 60 days for vehicles, boats, or RVs; Business loan relief program – you may qualify for interest-only payments for up to 6 months. Available now
Bank Five Nine Oconomowoc Waive our fees to FBFC customers for using other banks’ ATMs*; Waive fees for partial CD withdrawals; Waive fees for account to account transfers; Waive fees for person to person and electronic bill payments; Waive excessive transaction fees on saving and money market accounts; Waive minimum balance and monthly service charges on all deposit accounts; Waive fees for our automatic overdraft protection transfer fees  Until April 30
Bank of Alma Alma    
Bank of Brodhead Brodhead    
Bank of Cashton Cashton    
Bank of Deerfield Deerfield    
Bank of Kaukauna, The Kaukauna    
Bank of Lake Mills Lake Mills    
Bank of Luxemburg Luxemburg    
Bank of Mauston Mauston    
Bank of Milton Milton    
Bank of New Glarus, The New Glarus    
Bank of Ontario Ontario    
Bank of Prairie du Sac Prairie du Sac    
Bank of Sun Prairie Sun Prairie    
Bank of Wisconsin Dells Wisconsin Dells    
Bankers' Bank Madison    
Banner Banks Birnamwood    
Baraboo State Bank Baraboo    
Bay Bank Green Bay    
Benton State Bank Benton    
Black River Country Bank Black River Falls    
Blackhawk Bank Beloit    
BLC Community Bank Little Chute    
Bluff View Bank Galesville    
BMO Harris Bank Milwaukee    
Bonduel State Bank Bonduel    
Bremer Bank Menomonie    
Bristol Morgan Bank Oakfield    
Byline Bank Brookfield    
Capitol Bank Madison    
Charter Bank Eau Claire Eau Claire    
Chippewa Valley Bank Winter    
CIBM Bank Waukesha    
Citizens Bank of Mukwonago Mukwonago No late charges  on any loans; No overdraft fees on items paid; No ATM fees when using a non-Citizens Bank ATM; No stop payment fees Available now
Citizens Community Federal Eau Claire    
Citizens First Bank Viroqua    
Citizens State Bank Hudson    
Citizens State Bank Cadott    
Citizens State Bank of La Crosse La Crosse    
Citizens State Bank of Loyal Loyal    
Clare Bank Platteville    
Cleveland State Bank Cleveland    
Collins State Bank Collins    
Columbia Savings & Loan Association Milwaukee    
Commerce State Bank West Bend    
Community Bank of Cameron Cameron    
Community Financial Bank Prentice    
Community First Bank Rosholt    
Community First Bank Boscobel    
Community State Bank Union Grove    
Cornerstone Community Bank Grafton    
Coulee Bank La Crosse    
Cumberland Federal Bank Cumberland    
Dairy State Bank Rice Lake    
Denmark State Bank Denmark    
DMB Community Bank DeForest    
East Wisconsin Savings Bank Kaukauna    
Equitable Bank, The Wauwatosa    
Farmers & Merchants Bank Kendall    
Farmers & Merchants Bank Orfordville    
Farmers & Merchants Bank & Trust Marinette    
Farmers & Merchants Bank, The Berlin    
Farmers & Merchants State Bank Waterloo    
Farmers & Merchants Union Bank Columbus    
Farmers Savings Bank Mineral Point    
Farmers State Bank Markesan    
Farmers State Bank Hillsboro    
Farmers State Bank of Waupaca, The Waupaca    
Fidelity Bank & Trust Platteville    
Fifth/Third   payment waivers up to 90 days for all lines of loans, vehicle repossession to cease for 60 days, foreclosure actions suspended for 60 days   Available now
First American Bank Hudson    
First Bank of Baldwin Baldwin    
First Business Bank Madison    
First Citizens State Bank Whitewater    
First Community Bank Milton    
First Federal Bank of Wisconsin Waukesha    
First National Bank Waupaca    
First National Bank and Trust Company, The Beloit    
First National Bank at Darlington Darlington    
First National Bank in Tigerton Tigerton    
First National Bank of Bangor, The Bangor    
First National Bank of River Falls, The River Falls    
First National Community Bank New Richmond    
First State Bank, The New London    
Ford Credit   Offer payment reductions, delay payments, new card purchases 90-day delay until first payment, $500K donation to nonprofit to help with food delivery to seniors and children in southeast MI Issued Mar 16, 2020
Fortifi Bank Berlin    
Forward Bank Marshfield    
Fox Valley Savings Bank Fond du Lac    
Frandsen Bank & Trust Luck    
Great Midwest Bank Brookfield    
Greenleaf Wayside Bank Greenleaf    
Greenwood's State Bank, The Lake Mills    
Headwaters State Bank Land O'Lakes    
Hiawatha National Bank Hager City    
Highland State Bank Highland    
Home Savings Bank Madison    
Hometown Bank Fond du Lac    
Horicon Bank Horicon The temporary suspension of fees on a range of loan and deposit products; Payment deferrals for consumer, mortgage and business loans; Temporary payment relief assistance and fee waivers for consumer and business credit cards. Available now
Hustisford State Bank Hustisford    
Incredible Bank Wausau Work with customers to create a customized payment deferral plan for up to 90 days; increased the limit on cash withdrawals within our ATM Network to $1,000 daily and $3,000 daily for POS transactions; offer deferments of up to 6 months for small businesses that currently have an SBA loan.  Available now
Independence State Bank Independence    
Intercity State Bank Schofield    
International Bank of Amherst Amherst    
Investors Community Bank Manitowoc    
Ixonia Bank Ixonia    
Jackson County Bank Black River Falls    
Johnson Bank Racine    
KeySavings Bank Wisconsin Rapids    
Ladysmith Federal Savings & Loan Association Ladysmith    
Laona State Bank Laona    
Marathon Bank Wausau    
Mayville Savings Bank Mayville    
mBank Eagle River    
McFarland State Bank McFarland    
Merchants Bank Eau Claire    
MidwestOne Bank Barron    
Mitchell Bank Milwaukee    
Monona Bank Monona    
Mound City Bank Platteville    
National Bank of Commerce Superior    
National Exchange Bank   waiving minimum balance requirements for checking and savings accounts; loan customers facing payment difficult should contact their lenders  Mar 23, 2020 until May 31, 2020 
National Exchange Bank and Trust Fond du Lac    
Nekoosa Port Edwards State Bank Nekoosa    
Nicolet National Bank Green Bay    
North Shore Bank Brookfield    
Northern State Bank Ashland    
Northwestern Bank, The Chippewa Falls    
Oak Bank Fitchburg    
Oakwood Bank Pigeon Falls    
Old National Bank Madison    
Oostburg State Bank Oostburg    
Oregon Community Bank & Trust Oregon    
Paper City Savings Association Wisconsin Rapids    
Park Bank Holmen    
Park Bank, The Madison    
Partners Bank Spencer    
Peoples Bank Midwest Hayward    
Peoples Community Bank, The Mazomanie    
Peoples State Bank Prairie du Chien    
Peoples State Bank Wausau $3,000 personal loan for current Peoples customers, with no payments for the first 90 days; Peoples Edge Plus Checking with the $6 monthly service fee waived through June 30; Mortgage/Personal Payment Deferrals – providing deferral of payments for up to 90 days for mortgage and personal loans; suspension of foreclosures on residential properties for 60 days, unless required by federal or government agencies Available now
Peshtigo National Bank Peshtigo    
Pineries Bank, The Stevens Point    
Pioneer Bank Auburndale    
Port Washington State Bank Port Washington    
Portage County Bank, The Almond    
Premier Community Bank Marion    
PremierBank Fort Atkinson    
Prevail Bank Wisconsin Rapids    
PyraMax Bank Greenfield    
Richland County Bank Richland Center    
River Bank Stoddard    
River Falls State Bank River Falls    
Royal Bank Elroy    
Security Bank New Auburn    
Security Financial Bank Durand    
Security State Bank Iron River    
Settlers Bank Windsor    
Shell Lake State Bank Shell Lake    
Spring Bank Brookfield    
State Bank Financial La Crosse    
State Bank of Arcadia Arcadia    
State Bank of Chilton Chilton    
State Bank of Cross Plains Cross Plains loan-payment relief for up to three months initially; for business we are offering reduced or deferred payments at this time Available now
State Bank of Newburg Newburg    
State Bank of Reeseville Reeseville    
Stephenson National Bank & Trust, The Marinette tailoring loan payment plans for businesses and consumers on a case-by-case basis Available now
Sterling Bank Barron    
Sunset Bank & Savings Waukesha    
Superior Savings Bank Superior    
TCF    Consumer payment deferrals up to 90days, no fees, no negative reporting to credit bureaus, suspended residential mortgage foreclosure until April 2020. Business loans: deferral, restructuring, access to short term working capital, other financing options Available now
Timberwood Bank Tomah    
Tomahawk Community Bank Tomahawk    
Town Bank Hartland    
Tri City National Bank Oak Creek    
TSB Bank Lomira    
Union Bank of Blair Blair    
Union State Bank of West Salem West Salem    
Unity Bank Augusta waive penalties for closing CDs prior to the maturity date  
US Bank Milwaukee Reduced prices on personal and small business loans: Personal loans: Simple Loan borrow between $100-$1000, no fees, 3 equal pmts, $6 per $100 down from $12 or $15; Personal Loan borrow $1000 -$4999, up to 48 month term, 2.99 APR; Small Business loans: Platinum Credit Card 0% APR for 20 billing cycles then 9.99%-17.99; Quick Loan (general purpose loan) $5000-250,000, 12 to 84 month term, 2% lower rate than normal rate; Cash Flow Manager (secured and unsecured), $10,000 to $250,000, 1% lower rate than normal rate Personal and Business loan program available: Mar 13, 2020 
Waldo State Bank Waldo    
WaterStone Bank Wauwatosa    
Waukesha State Bank Waukesha    
Waumandee State Bank Waumandee    
westbury bank West Bend    
Wisconsin Bank & Trust Madison consumer checking and savings accounts monthly fees waived; Foreign ATM fees assessed by Wisconsin Bank & Trust will be waived; customers using other banks’ ATMs will not be assessed fees; late fees on consumer loans will be waived; CD early redemption fees will not be assessed.  March 23, 2020 through April 30, 2020
Wolf River Community Bank Hortonville    
Woodford State Bank   Waiving telephone transfer fees  18-Mar-20
WoodTrust Bank Wisconsin Rapids    

By, Eric Skrum

This is a list of the current contacts for the Small Business Administration in Wisconsin.

By, Eric Skrum

The following is a list of FAQs received by WBA Legal related to COVID-19 and WBA Legal’s general response to each question.

Last updated 06/05/2020 at 1:30 PM.

If you have been on this page for any extended period of time, please refresh your page to view the most up-to-date version of this information as this page is regularly updated.

By, Ally Bates

As we continue to see cases of the virus escalate in Wisconsin, it is critical that banks that have not already done so, begin immediately separating on-site staff into groups or tiers, and have plans in place to ensure continual staffing of all open branch locations. It is very possible that some bank staff will catch the virus and if one employee tests positive for COVID-19, all staff who have been around that person in a branch should self-quarantine for 14 days. Wisconsin Department of Health Services recommends that employees who are told they have a medium or high-risk exposure should be excluded from work for 14 days during which they should monitor for symptoms and/or fever. Employers with staff who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 who have not had any symptoms may discontinue home isolation when at least seven days have passed since the date of their first positive COVID-19 diagnostic test and have had no subsequent illness. See CDC guidance.

To ensure continual staffing ability so you don’t have to shut down a location affecting your customers, you should separate your staff into different groups, or tiers, so that not all of your key staff could be affected if one employee becomes sick with the virus. Some banks have separated their staff into two or three distinct teams of people such that the same small group works in the branch one week, while the next small group works in the branch the following week. Another suggestion is to have a limited small group continually staffing each location but have another tier of staff who are not at that location, ready to take over a particular branch location in the event that someone becomes ill. Others are contacting retired staff to engage them on an as-needed basis only as part of their pandemic planning. All banks must be planning for this potential circumstance; however, it is particularly critical for smaller banks with very few locations and an already-lean staff.

By, Eric Skrum

COVID-19 is causing many concerns with consumers, but access to your money shouldn’t be one of them. Here are the top five things you need to know about your money and banks under “Safer At Home.” 

1. You have continued access to your funds and bank services. 
Banks are considered an essential service which means you continue to have access to your funds through in-person services and self-service tools, such as mobile or online banking. 

2. Your money is safe, secure, and insured. 
FDIC deposit insurance currently covers up to $250,000 per person and ensures the security of consumers’ funds. Congress is working on legislation providing authority for the FDIC to increase this coverage through December 31, 2020.  No consumer has lost a single penny in the history of this insurance fund. 

3. Your bank is prepared. 
Banks are prepared for situations like a pandemic, with tested and proven business continuity plans and procedures. Although state and federal regulations require banks to be prepared, you’ll find that community banks are prepared because they want to continue to serve, not because they are required. 

4. Your bank is looking out for you, your family, and your business. 
Wisconsin’s banks are proactively contacting customers, offering assistance in the form of fee waivers, loan payment deferral programs, credit card payment relief, suspension of foreclosure and repossession programs, and more. Bankers are also helping their customers apply for grants offered at the state and federal level as well. Congress is also working on providing more assistance to businesses through banks in the form of additional changes to federal programs, such as the SBA program.   

5. Your banker is listening and ready to act. 
Customers should contact their banker to talk about how COVID-19 is affecting them, and how the bank can help. Wisconsin’s banking industry is strong and ready to help. 

By, Eric Skrum

WI Financial Institutions Focus on Service During the COVID-19 Crisis 

The physical and financial wellness of consumers is top of mind for Wisconsin financial institutions says, Wisconsin Bankers Association and Wisconsin Credit Union League. 

MADISON— Wisconsin financial institutions understand the importance of stable and uninterrupted delivery of important financial services, such as access to money and credit, during this time of crisis. 

That is why all Wisconsin banks and credit unions remain open for business and will continue to be available to meet the financial needs of consumers and businesses. State and federal regulations require these institutions to be prepared for situations like pandemics, with tested and proven business continuity plans and procedures that ensure they continue to serve their local communities during difficult times. The most important thing for the public to understand is that your money is safe and sound in a bank or a credit union. Deposit insurance covering at least $250,000 per person ensures the security of consumers’ funds. 

The physical and financial wellness of consumers is top of mind for Wisconsin banks and credit unions. They stand ready and able to assist customers through the financial hardships they may encounter in the coming weeks. 

Regarding physical wellness, consumers may notice slight changes at their financial institution, such as drive-through only access, limited hours, or the need to schedule an appointment. Banks and credit unions will continue working to provide uninterrupted services to meet the financial needs of consumers. Please remember, many institutions now offer robust remote-access technologies, including mobile account access, telephone banking, and ATMs. 

Wisconsin financial institutions’ safety measures are designed to protect the health of employees and consumers, while providing continuous access to financial resources.  

Regarding financial wellness, banks and credit unions are in constant contact with federal, state, and local officials strategizing how best to coordinate available public and private financial resources and exploring all possible options for expanding access to credit, together with regulators and other government agencies. 

Rest assured, even in uncertain economic times like now, all state and federally chartered depository institutions maintain ample deposit insurance and continue to be a trusted partner in helping consumers weather unexpected financial strain. 

We are all in this together. Communication is key. If consumers have any questions on how to access their funds or need advice on financial options or strategies to use during the COVID-19 crisis, they should contact their bank or credit union today. 

### 

The Wisconsin Bankers Association is the state’s largest financial industry trade association, representing nearly 235 commercial banks and savings institutions, their nearly 2,300 branch offices and 21,000 employees. 

Founded in 1934, The Wisconsin Credit Union League is the dues-supported trade association for Wisconsin's credit unions—not-for-profit financial institutions that are cooperatively owned by their more than 3.3 million members. 

By, Eric Skrum

The Wisconsin Bankers Association has created two interactive maps showing the bank lobbies and drive-throughs in the state that are currently open and available to customers.  

“Banks stand ready to serve their customers whether it’s through in-person, by appointment or self-banking services,” said WBA’s Rose Oswald Poels. “Wisconsin’s DFI released a statement clarifying that all banks are exempt from Governor Evers’ recent executive order since they provide essential services. Banks play a pivotal role in people’s lives and it’s becoming increasingly important to keep the public informed on how they can access their bank’s services.”  

This tool, updated daily, will give consumers an idea as to how services are being offered in their area understanding that all banks are open for business.  

You can also call your bank directly to determine which in-person services remain available through open lobbies or by appointment and learn what tools and resources they have for self-service banking.  

The online interactive maps can be accessed by visiting https://www.wisbank.com/resources/coronavirus-covid-19/wisconsin-bank-lobbies-and-drive-throughs/

By, Eric Skrum

“Why rob a bank?” That’s the question posed by FBI Agent Beth Boxwell at a recent Financial Crimes Investigators of Madison (FCI) meeting. The answer? It's easier for many criminals because banks are a known entity versus robbing a gas station or other business. They understand there likely will be a higher amount of cash and that staff are trained to get criminals out of the bank as soon as possible.

On the other hand, bank robbers are more likely to be captured. At nearly 60%, bank robberies have one of the highest clearance rates of all crimes.

Bank robbers are usually serial or repeat offenders and tend to be associated with other violent criminal activity, according to the FBI.

The FBI categorizes bank robberies into four categories:

  1. Note Job – Any robbery which involves the criminal passing a note to the teller. If you can do it safely, the FBI recommends keeping the note as it can help with their investigation.
  2. Takeover-style – Technically, every bank robbery that takes place within the bank falls into this category because the criminal is literally taking over the branch.
  3. Bombs or bomb threat – This is the rarest of bank robberies as most criminals aren’t using explosives or the threat of explosives during the event.
  4. Drive-through – This is a growing category within bank robberies as more criminals are literally using the bank’s drive-through to make their demands.

It is critical that all bank employees are trained in case their bank is targeted by criminals. The FBI offered the following tips below for bankers. While many bank security officers already take these steps (and more), the tips are a good reminder and give insight on the perspective of law enforcement on some of the steps you can take to make your bank safe.

Bank Robbery Prevention Tips

  • Follow your company’s opening and closing procedures.
  • Be observant before opening and after closing bank.
  • Do not allow any unauthorized person(s) in bank when closed.
  • Be observant of all suspicious person(s) loitering within or near bank.
  • Report suspicious person or activity to supervisor.
  • Do not share bank information, policies, or security features with anyone.

During a Bank Robbery

  • Follow the bank’s procedures in complying with the robber’s demands.
  • Be observant and note the robber’s physical description, facial features, clothing, and distinguishing features. Note what the robber touched while in the bank. In short, try to be a good witness.
  • Don’t try to be a hero.

After the Bank Robbery

  • Witnesses should try to observe the robber’s escape method (i.e. on foot or by vehicle) and the direction traveled. If by vehicle, note the description of the vehicle.
  • Bank employees should call the police to confirm the alarm and secure the robbery scene.
  • Immediately lock all doors and try to keep any witnesses in the bank until law enforcement arrives.
  • Witnesses should not discuss their observances with others and should not view surveillance tapes or photos.
  • A list of all employees and customers present during the robbery should be provided to law enforcement.
  • Minimize contact with the media and refer any media inquires to the FBI media representative in the local FBI field office or police department.
  • If a bomb was used during the robbery, do not use any electronic devices (such as alarms, cell phones, hard line phones, and two-way radios), as these may trigger the bomb. Evacuate everyone from the immediate vicinity of the bomb and call law enforcement from a safe location.

Most importantly, the safety of bank employees and customers is the number one concern for both the bank and law enforcement. All training should be designed and implemented with that goal in mind.

By, Amber Seitz

Seriously, how are millennials buying things? 

Are credit cards still valuable in the digital world? Great question! The answer is complicated and requires some hard truths from Ally, everyone’s favorite Millennial and voice of a generation. 

If it wasn’t clear: that is a joke; not all people born between the years 1980 and 1995 are a hive mind (most 25-year-olds have very different preferences and problems than most 40-year-olds). We don’t all think and act the same, but shared experiences in relation to the economy and technology do mean that there are trends in this age group that indicate that credit cards are becoming passé. 

Research from the Federal Reserve has shown that Millennials hold less debt than previous generations, and the distribution of that debt is different. Millennials hold more student debt but less mortgage and credit card debt than members of Gen X did at a similar age. The Federal Reserve study discusses a familiar-sounding two-pronged reason for this: supply and demand. 

On the supply side, Millennials were in their teens and twenties in the aftermath of the Great Recession when lending standards were quite tight (and remain tight in certain market segments) and lacked the necessary credit history due to age to qualify for credit cards or other borrowing. On the demand side, even if they could get credit, the financial crisis made many consumers debt-averse, particularly those who were younger during the recession. 

So how are we Millennials buying things? We’re definitely not carrying cash—one in four millennials has less than $5 cash on them at any given time. 

Everyone’s Best Friend: Debit 

Millennials prefer the other plastic: debit cards. Debit is hugely popular across all consumers; in 2018 debit card penetration was 78% in the U.S. In the millennial group, debit cards are the most common payment form, but millennials tend to lack brand loyalty.Visa found that millennials are five times more likely to close their primary banking accounts than other generational groups. This means that millennials are much more likely to move on to a different bank if they are not happy with the terms of their checking accounts. 

We’re a group accustomed to having the world at our fingertips, more likely to use mobile banking and be early adopters of new technology. Which means we’re also more open to using nonbank fintech products and services, which is displayed through how we use our debit cards. 

Let Me Count the Ways 

Sixty-one percent of consumers with a digital wallet have a debit card linked to it, and that number skews higher for younger consumers. Digital wallets, admittedly, are not being adopted as quickly as they were once thought to, but 60% of consumers used some sort of mobile payment in 2019. Additionally, companies with online or app-based services (Uber, Postmates, Airbnb) that have built-in payments saw 28.5% growth from 2018 to 2019. 

But digital wallets technically fall into the “card present” category of debit transactions, and nearly a quarter of all debit transactions were “card-not-present" in 2018. This encompasses a variety of different types of payments, including online shopping and person-to-person money transfers. 

Millennials do about 60% of their shopping online and more than half of those online purchases are made using a mobile phone. Personally, I purchase more things online through my phone than any other way. In fact, I’m not sure I would like to admit to how often I lull myself to sleep at night by scrolling through the Amazon app on my phone. 

The millennial aversion to debt expands beyond the traditional financial services—we don’t want to be in debt to our friends either. Person-to-person money transfer apps have taken off in the past few years, (the most well-known being Venmo and Zelle), but there are literally dozens on the market. Consumers transferred over $205 billion using person-to-person transfer apps in 2019, simplifying bill-splitting at restaurants everywhere. You truly haven’t lived until you’ve passive aggressively sent a friend $5 in Venmo after they insisted that you didn’t need to pay them back for coffee. 

Things That Aren’t Debit 

If you follow any former RuPaul’s Drag Race contestants on social media you’ve probably seen a #sponsoredpost or two about Klarna (shoutout to the four people reading this who know what I’m talking about). Klarna, Afterpay, Affirm, and others are buy now, pay later (BNPL) ecosystems that consumers (particularly younger consumers) are increasingly using. Millennials like the concept of being able to buy something and pay it off over time, which may cause you to scratch your head and ask “OK, but that sounds a lot like credit cards?” And you’re right, but as we discussed earlier, credit cards have too much baggage that keep younger consumers away. 

The appeal of the BNPL method is there is more transparency; these solutions are very structured, telling consumers exactly how much they will end up paying and when. Now, this isn’t a new concept by a long shot. These are really old-fashioned retail methods that have been modernized into sleek, user-friendly apps or integrated into an online retailer’s checkout process. 

Alright, Kid, So What Should We Do With This Info? 

Why, thank you for asking! This is a great time to ask some important questions about the way your bank is stepping into the digital age. Millennials are very digital, but the emerging Gen Z (typically considered those born 1996 and later) have an even higher proclivity to digital payment systems and even lower credit card usage. 

Do the products at your bank align with how your customer base prefers to move their money around? Is there a way to fight the fear of credit cards? 

Every bank’s customer-base is unique, so the answers to those questions may vary. If you’re not sure where to start looking for answers, consider asking some Millennials directly. Chances are, you have at least a few working for you today. 

Bates is WBA admin/communications assistant – legal.

By, Amber Seitz