Would You Pay For A Checking Account If You Had The Option Not To?

The “pay whatever you want” way of doing things has often worked for music groups, museums and other artistic institutions, mostly because while some people will pay nothing, others will pony up cash in appreciation for the benefits they receive from the product or art. But one new online bank is well, banking on the fact that that model could work as well.

GoBank is rolling out nationwide soon, and will offer a pay-what-you-wish checking account with options ranging from $0 for its services to $9 per month, reports MarketWatch. It’ll be up to the customers to judge what they’re charged — in essence, they’ll decide what the services are worth.

The company wants to stand out from the big banks that have cast such dark shadows on the industry, says Steve Streit, chief executive officer of Green Dot, the prepaid debit-card provider running GoBank.

“It’s this whole sense that somebody is messing with your money without your permission,” Streit tells MarketWatch. “We wanted to make it so that the customers could choose.”

He believes it’ll help GoBank remain a “good bank,” in order to earn the reward of payment from its customers.

The obvious risk here is that without the motivation of enjoying say, a good album of music or meandering through a museum, that many customers will simply pay nothing — not a good thing for an institution trying to make money.

Bank offers pay-what-you-wish checking [Marketwatch]