Your money is NOT safe in the bank, here’s why

Valarie Merced Blog

Where is your money? In your sock drawer? Under your bed? Tied up in investments? Sitting in your local bank? 

It is no surprise that many folks use the banking system. However, 25% of Americans report being unbanked. And according to the FDIC 49% of those who were unbanked stated not having enough money to meet the minimum balance requirement, as the reason they remain unbanked. In fact, approximately 69% of the world actually have a bank account! 

Why? Because of classism.

In order to open a bank account in the United States you need this:

  • A government-issued photo ID.
  • A phone number.
  • Social security number.
  • An initial deposit.
  • What they deem as a valid source of income (i.e. NOT sex work)

These requisites leave out folks who might be houseless and immigrants. This excludes folks who do not earn money in a traditional way, especially sex workers. 

Along with the system being built exclusively for someone of a certain socio-economic status, there is something that is more pressing. Something that impacts the most marginalized of our society. That is the financial institutions’ blatant attack against sex workers. 

Platforms such as PayPal and Venmo target individuals who make their money from sex. They will target these folks and freeze their accounts with no due process or heads up. This is very dangerous for folks who rely on these platforms and the income that they generate via Venmo and PayPal. This attack disproportionately impacts BIPOC folks.

It does not stop there. In fact, banks have historically closed accounts and appallingly keep (STEAL) the money.

This shut-out and shut-down create a work environment that is even higher risk. These attacks cut off the sex workers’ ability to screen their clients, it forces them to take cash, and pushes their self-promotion and business from the safety of their home to the dangers of the streets.

Let’s be honest, banks are classist, racist, and petty. 

We want all sex workers to benefit from their art and craft. Furthermore, we believe they should be protected, their money, their content, and their lives. 

Unfortunately, that is far more than any traditional financial institution can say. 

We put safety 1st and SlfExpression 2nd

We hope you will too!