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Data for today’s episode is provided by Mercator Advisory Group’s Viewpoint: The U.S. Unbanked Issue is Improving; Are You Part of the Solution?
The U.S. Unbanked Population is Decreasing:
- According to the FDIC, 7.1 million U.S. households, or 5.4% of all households, were unbanked in 2019.
- 7.1 million households translated to 13.8 million unbanked individuals in the U.S. in 2019.
- 13.8 million is the lowest number of unbanked individuals since the FDIC initiated its unbanked study in 2009.
- In comparison,10 million (8.2%) of U.S. households were unbanked in 2011.
- 10 million households translated to 19.4 million unbanked individuals in 2009—5.6 million more than 2019’s 13.8 million.
- The U.S. is the 18th most banked country in the world, ranking just behind the UK, South Korea, and Ireland.
The efforts of fintechs and, to a lesser degree, traditional financial institutions to provide robust banking solutions to the unbanked population through prepaid cards are helping individuals to safely store funds, receive deposits quickly, purchase goods, pay bills and get cash at reasonable costs while reducing the overall population of unbanked individuals, as explored in new research from Mercator Advisory group; The U.S. Unbanked Issue is Improving; Are You Part of the Solution?
“The wave of neobanks and challenger banks that has emerged in the last several years is playing an outsized role in helping to bank the currently unbanked. They join other fintech players to offer services with easy access, smart user apps and nearly free banking solutions, attracting millions of customers. Their sustainability is certainly in question, however. Currently these businesses operate at a loss or with thin margins and recent efforts to reduce debit card interchange, neobanks’ primary source of revenue, creates a new threat,” comments Sarah Grotta, Director, Debit and Alternative Products Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group and author of the report.