Cash Is Dying, and the Unbanked Are Being Left Behind
By John Bogna
Imagine you didn’t have a bank account for a day. You can’t pay bills or shop for cheap goods online. You can’t even pay a parking ticket without going to a physical location. How would you possibly navigate that day? But for the people who use cash for most or all of their transactions, that’s everyday life.
In the United States, the unbanked and underbanked make up around one-quarter of the population, according to 2017 data from the FDIC. The majority of that group are non-white, minimally educated, and make less than $30,000 per year. Over half the people surveyed for the report said they didn’t have a bank account because they couldn’t afford to open one.
At the same time, government services across the United States are looking to go cashless, with New York, Houston, and D.C. considering cashless options for public transport, something low-income groups depend on daily. Some retail chains are also doing away with cash as a payment option, accepting only debit or tap-to-pay methods.
Photo courtesy of uditha wickramanayaka.