United Financial Services centers provide a wide assortment of vital services to consumers seeking an alternative to traditional banking relationships. Our franchisees operate clean, bright, safe retail centers designed to create a community-bank atmosphere and they build strong customer relationships by providing the type of friendly service not usually associated with todays banks.
In 1992, United recognized the value of offering a franchising opportunity in this industry. After fifteen years of successfully operating multiple check cashing centers in the Philadelphia area, its principals decided to document their best practices and began to expand their profitable business model through a formal franchise system. Since then, the company has shown more than 100 entrepreneurs how to establish and operate their own business by serving this lucrative market segment.
The United system has standardized the key elements of a successful check-cashing center. It has created a retail format that offers a warm, community bank-like atmosphere for customers to conduct their business. It has identified a consumer segment with unique demands not currently met by traditional banking institutions and has assembled a full compliment of products and services that meet their needs.
Meeting Market Demand:
Uniteds system also meets the demand for convenient cash management by offering better hours and more accessible locations than a typical bank. We cash their checks with no holds while the funds clear the banking system for just a couple of pennies on the dollar. We also assist them in paying bills, wiring money and a host of other cash-based financial transactions.
With banks continuing to charge fees and service charges for more and more services on accounts with low balances, many customers will continue to give up their relationships with traditional financial institutions in favor of alternative financial services providers.
Today, many Americans and two income families are living from paycheck to paycheck. The economy has also created many part-time jobs or moonlighters to supplement an income or, in many cases, replace a traditional job. These lifestyle changes are forcing wage earners to seek more convenient alternatives to traditional banking relationships to manage their finances.
And finally, the U.S. population is continuing to diversify as immigrants from many countries are still seeking the opportunity provided in America. Many of these newcomers, and even their preceding ethnic groups, are not comfortable with banks and prefer to manage their money on a simple cash basis.
United believes that these trends should continue to fuel the demand for non-traditional financial service providers. This belief, coupled with the fact that our same-store sales continue to increase year over year, provides us with an optimistic outlook for the continued growth of this category.
Over the past several years, our centers have shown consistent growth in both check-cashing volume as well as revenue from check-cashing fees and other services. In 2003, United centers collectively cashed nearly $1.3 billion worth of checks generating an estimated $30 million in fee revenue for its franchisees.