A Day in the Life of the Unbanked Consumer — And How Mobile Can Help
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
For most Americans, conducting simple, routine bank transactions throughout the day can easily go unnoticed. Depositing a check or withdrawing cash from an ATM is as central to daily life as going to the grocery store. However, you don’t have to travel too far outside of your day-to-day activity to encounter individuals who are “unbanked,” whether they chose to manage their own finances without a bank, or they are too limited by poverty or distance for banking to be realistic.
In the U.S., there are 68 million Americans without access to a bank account or debit card — roughly 22 percent. But when it comes to mobile phones, there is no shortage in the U.S., with nearly 90 percent of American adults in possession of a mobile device. Worldwide, there are 2.5 billion unbanked individuals. However, nearly 85 percent of the global population, about 6.8 billion people, has access to a mobile phone.
Pause to think about those numbers and let it sink in: More than one third of the human race are considered unbanked, by choice or out of necessity; yet, at the same time, there are just about as many cellphones on the planet as there are people.