FSCNY History

Financial Service Centers of New York (FSCNY) is the state trade association of licensed community check cashers in New York. FSCNY is recognized as the leading voice on legislative regulatory and business issues that affect its members and the rights of New Yorkers to access basic financial services.

Creation of an Industry

The New York licensed check cashing industry has existed since 1944, when the State Legislature recognized the need for check cashing services by enacting legislation governing such activities. Since that time, the check cashing industry has been licensed by the Department of Financial Services (formerly known as the New York State Banking Department) and collectively has demonstrated an unimpeachable record of financial stability and service to the communities that it serves. For nearly seven decades, New York check cashers have provided indispensable financial services to millions of New Yorkers, in a regulated setting, at locations that are safe and convenient while charging fees that are clearly displayed and among the lowest in the country. The State Legislature has recognized the value of the check cashing industry, declaring that: “check cashers provide important and vital services to New York citizens” and “it is in the public interest to promote the stability of the check cashing business for the purpose of meeting the needs of the communities that are served by check cashers.” (Preamble to L. 1994, c. 546)(Article 9-A, § 369).

Formation of an Association

In 1957, a group of industry leaders formed the Check Cashers Association of New York. In 2002, the association was renamed to the Financial Service Centers of New York to better reflect the status of its members as modern financial service centers. Since its inception, FSCNY has been the New York check cashing industry’s leading advocate on legislative, regulatory and business issues that affect its members and the rights of New Yorkers to access basic financial services. Today, FSCNY’s membership accounts for approximately 70% of the New York licensed check cashing industry, which today consists of more than 100 companies operating nearly 550 locations.

Evolution of the Industry

The licensed check cashing industry emerged in response to the need of hard working people looking to convert simply and conveniently their paychecks into cash. Since its creation in the 1940s, the New York check cashing industry has successfully achieved this objective, cashing checks for millions of New Yorkers. However, through its relationships with its customers the industry took note of New Yorkers other financial needs. As a result, the industry has evolved during the past seven decades to become the pivotal link to the payments system for so many New Yorkers. Today, in addition to cashing checks, FSCNY member locations provide other valuable financial products and services to consumers, including money transmission services, sales of prepaid debit cards, sale of money orders, and in-person payment centers for utility and other bill payments.   For more information about the industry click here.

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