The term “unbanked” refers to individuals or households who do not have access to traditional banking services. Being unbanked means they do not have a personal checking or savings account at a bank or credit union. These individuals rely on alternative financial services, such as prepaid cards, money orders, payday loans, or informal lending sources, to manage their finances and carry out banking transactions.

The unbanked population is often disadvantaged in various ways. Without a bank account, they face challenges in receiving direct deposit payments, making electronic payments, accessing affordable credit, or building a credit history. They may also encounter difficulties in saving money securely, which can hinder long-term financial stability and economic mobility. Understanding the factors contributing to unbanked populations, such as income inequality, limited physical access to banking institutions, or a lack of trust in the banking system, is crucial for policymakers and financial institutions to develop strategies to address the needs of these underserved individuals.

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