More Community Banks Turning to Brightlane, Inc. to Reach the Underserved Consumer

First Financial Bank becomes second Brightlane client in Alabama as the focus on serving the underbanked population grows

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We’ve noticed a shift in the banking needs of our community. By adding in new products and services to our current offerings, such as no account needed check cashing, we’ll be able to serve a larger portion of our region.

Atlanta, GA (PRWEB) January 28, 2013

Two weeks after announcing the signing of Brightlane, Inc.’s first client, Chairman & President T. Stephen Johnson reveals the addition of a second, First Financial Bank. This signing continues a trend of community banks in the Southeastern United States searching for new ways to serve the unbanked and underbanked consumer.

“We are excited about the opportunity to work with First Financial Bank. They acknowledge a growing population of underserved financial consumers in Alabama, and our goal is to provide a suite of products to those consumers which meet their evolving needs,” said Johnson.

The suite of products, led by the Brightlane Money Card (a General Purpose Reloadable Card), allow underserved consumers access to financial services in community banks without the high fee and safety concerns associated with traditional check cashers and payday lenders. Of particular interest to First Financial Bank is the new ability to cash checks for customers even if they do not have an account. Lynn Joyce, Executive Vice President and CFO of First Financial Bank, explained, “We’ve noticed a shift in the banking needs of our community. By adding in new products and services to our current offerings, such as no account needed check cashing, we’ll be able to serve a larger portion of our region.”        

To raise awareness of the new products to the target market, Brightlane offers banks assistance in customer acquisition using several different marketing channels. This strategy includes a unique incentive plan to help bring new customers into the bank branch using already established relationships. Chris Johnson, Chief Creative Officer, believes that "Using lower cost digital and social channels, as well as building positive word-of-mouth in the community, can go a long ways.”

Brightlane products will be available in First Financial Bank retail locations starting around March 1st.

About First Financial Bank
First Financial Bank is headquartered in Bessemer, AL and has been in operation for over 75 years. It has 9 offices serving portions of Bibb, Jefferson, Shelby and Tuscaloosa Counties in Alabama, as well as approximately $200 Million in assets.

About Brightlane, Inc.
Brightlane is headquartered in Atlanta, GA and is the latest venture of T. Stephen Johnson, a long time banking industry consultant and investor. He was the Founder of the first internet-only bank (NetBank), the first reloadable pay card (Directo, Inc.), the Southeast Bank Fund, and the North American Bank Fund. For more information visit http://www.BrightlaneInc.com.


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