This is a blog about the alternative financial products that serve the unbanked population in America. Unbanked and underbanked are terms that describe adults that lack either a savings or a checking account, or that use alternative financial services such as prepaid debit cards, check cashers, pawn shops, rent-to-own shops, buy-here-pay-here car dealers, and tax refund loans.
The FDIC says that about 10 million Americans live in households that use one or more of these products. Recently, the FDIC reported that approximately 60 million households are either unbanked or underbanked. The alternative financial services industry is changing rapidly. Bank executives indicate that they plan to cut back on free checking in the near future. Increasingly, the unbanked use prepaid cards for many of the basic services offered to holders of checking accounts. They keep deposits on these cards, use them at ATMs or point of purchase kiosks, and even access them for credit.
Bank Talk covers this marketplace.
BankTalk is a project of Reinvestment Partners. Adam can be reached via e-mail at adam at reinvestment partners all one word dot org