Because the people want their cold, hard cash in their pockets right now. And convincing banks to let low-income residents open low-fee accounts with no minimum deposit is not going to solve the problem. OK, it might mean a few more bank accounts, but if you really want to solve the problem, force banks to cash these same checks at a quarter of the rate charged by the check cashing establishments. Now that will drive them out of business. Of course, it might also be labeled "unfair business practices," but you don't take a pea shooter to a knife fight.