Ally Bank wants to help the last babies born in 2020 start the new year off with their own bank account.
The digital bank is offering $250 in a custodial online savings account to all infants born Dec. 31. That's an estimated 10,000 babies, the bank said.
"Our team at Ally Bank really wanted to do something to help end 2020 on a positive note, and there's nothing more positive and hopeful than a newborn baby," Diane Morais, president of consumer and commercial banking products at Ally, said in an email.
"As an all-digital bank, we feel a special connection with these babies who are entering a new digital era; one more digital than even nine months ago," she said. "We think providing them with $250 in a custodial online savings account gives them a head start on their financial futures and it seemed like a natural way to welcome them."
Any child born between 12:01 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. local time Dec. 31 who is a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident, is eligible, Morais said.
Parents and legal guardians will have from Jan. 15 to July 31 to enroll their child in the account.
"We know having a newborn can be a hectic time, so we're giving parents lots of time to enroll," Morais said.
The child must have a Social Security number, a certified birth certificate and a residential street address in one of the 50 U.S. states, D.C., Guam or the U.S. Virgin Islands.
"The idea was born to simply share a message of hope, and to say 'thanks' to the little people who will help us end this incredibly difficult year on a positive note," Morais said. "Sometimes, just getting started is the hardest part of saving. So, with so much ahead of them, we thought we'd eliminate this barrier for them right up front, giving them a financial head start."
The Detroit-based bank doesn't have any brick-and-mortar branches, and Morais said she thinks it's likely the children born today will never walk into a physical bank branch.
"The shift to digital in the last few years has been so significant and only accelerated by the pandemic, that we see banking becoming only easier, more accessible and more integrated with people's lifestyles — enabled by technology with a very human approach," she said.