Do You Know About the Unbanked?
Lena Robinson, Community Affairs Specialist, Federal Reserve Bank of San
What many of us in community development know is
that there are reportedly 10 million unbanked households in the U.S. What
remains somewhat unknown is how to meaningfully reach these households
and appropriately transition them into profitable bank customers. This
issue of Community Investments looks at some of the successful ways this
market is being reached and served.
Before you roll your eyes at reading yet another
article about unbanked and underserved markets, take a moment to answer
the following questions. These questions are intended to illustrate some
methods for identifying characteristics of populations that are more likely
to be unbanked and the market opportunity they represent. Your responses
may help you realize if you know as much as you think about this significant
population that has the potential to increase your institution's market
- What is the most common reason cited among unbanked
households for not having a checking account?
- Where can you obtain information about the banking
habits and financial characteristics of U.S. families?
- At what rate per day is the number of immigrants
- What is the estimated annual fee revenue on foreign
- Where can you find data about the number of non-English
speaking households by city?
- What is the income cutoff for a family of four
to receive the Earned Income Tax Credit?
In the pages that follow and on our website
we have compiled interesting stories about products, services and programs
targeted to unbanked and underserved consumers. We hope that these stories
will reveal the rewards that can come from providing the right services
to the right markets and will refresh your interest in banking the unbanked.
not write enough checks
Survey of Consumer Finances produced triennially by the Federal Reserve
Factfinder section of the U.S. Census Bureau