New bank branch on wheels brings financial services to underserved Phoenix communities

By Katherine Davis-Young
Published: Monday, January 29, 2024 - 5:05am

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PNC mobile bank branch
PNC Bank
PNC Bank has launched a new initiative to promote financial literacy among underserved populations in Phoenix.

PNC Bank has launched a new bank branch on wheels to promote financial literacy among underserved populations in Phoenix. 

The 30-foot banking truck is making regular stops outside affordable housing complexes and nonprofits that serve low-income communities. It's staffed by PNC bankers from traditional brick-and-mortar branches. 

"They go and have conversations with people, whether or not they bank with PNC, about their goals and how to better budget. Or, if they don’t have a bank account, they can set up a checking account right there," said David Crummey, vice president and community development officer for PNC Bank in Arizona. "It’s pretty much everything you can do in a regular bank branch, but on wheels." 

Visitors to the truck can also apply for a loan or mortgage, or use an ATM that allows withdrawals in small denominations.

According to research from the nonprofit Prosperity Now, about 5% of Phoenix households do not have a bank account. Another 17% of Phoenix households are considered "underbanked," meaning they have a bank account, but they rely more frequently on non-bank money orders, check-cashing services or payday lenders. 

Crummey said those financial habits can be risky and expensive. 

“It’s hundreds of dollars a year that they could be taking home if they had direct deposit or a banking relationship, plus just the security of having an FDIC-insured account," Crummey said. 

Phoenix is the seventh U.S. city where PNC is offering these services.