'CashPlease': Small Bank Debuts Alternative to Payday Loans
This week, Wells Fargo joined the list of large banks introducing short-term credit products — and the much smaller OneUnited Bank in Boston unveiled a version of its own, intended as an alternative to payday loans. OneUnited's loan, called CashPlease, is designed to help customers of the $635 million-asset Black-owned bank manage their cash flow without the hurdles and higher costs some other lenders might impose. Instead of conducting credit checks, it looks at applicants' checking-account activity and other aspects of their relationship with the bank. Funds arrive within four hours of the loan's approval. OneUnited's rollout of CashPlease comes after the introduction of similar small-dollar loans by several large banks. In October 2020, for instance, Bank of America launched Balance Assist, which offers loans of up to $500 for a flat $5 fee and a repayment period of three monthly installments.