Mexico experiments with the ‘branchless’ bank
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Tess Vigeland: The FDIC estimates that somewhere around 18 percent of the U.S. population is what’s called underbanked — Ppeople who turn to payday lenders and check cashing services and the mattress because they don’t have good access to the banking system.
In Mexico, estimates are 75 percent of the population is underbanked. But as Alex Goldmark reports, a number of startups are using technology to bridge the gap between rich banks and poor customers.
Alex Goldmark: The city of Chimalhuacan in Central Mexico has a population the size of Washington, D.C. but just two banks. And that’s a huge inconvenience for people like Eduardo Ramos, who pays a dollar each way to take a half hour bus ride to one of those branches.
Eduardo Ramos: It takes me some two hours because when you arrive there, it’s the only bank and it’s filled with people.