Green Dot Sees Demand From Unbanked Cash-Paying Customers

Green Dot

Green Dot Network is focusing on unbanked consumers who pay bills in cash.

The bank holding company announced in a Tuesday (Feb. 21) press release it has expanded its list of partners to include companies that focus on “underserved minority groups that tend to be significantly more dependent on cash” than the average consumer.

“Cash payments make up 60% of payments by unbanked consumers (compared to 20% of banked consumers), making cash access critical for these and other cash-preferred consumers,” Green Dot said in the release.

The company’s newest partners include Broxel, a FinTech that works with Hispanic customers and lets them manage accounts and cards in pesos and U.S. dollars, and Greenwood, a digital bank targeting Black and Latino customers, according to the release.

Another partner is bill payment firm Paymentus, which earlier this year expanded the cash payment capabilities on its network with the help of Green Dot. This expansion lets billers connected to Paymentus’ network accept cash payments from customers at more than 90,000 locations.

“Every biller knows that cash payments account for a meaningful portion of revenue,” Paymentus founder and CEO Dushyant Sharma said last month. “Untethering cash payments from the customer service counter and into tens of thousands of community-based access points will make cash bill-pay as easy, convenient and secure as every other payment method for both consumers and billers alike.”

PYMNTS spoke earlier this month with Green Dot’s Jamison Jaworski and Paymentus’ Nicole Haskins about the continued vitality of cash payments for millions of consumers.

But Jaworski, Green Dot’s general manager/senior vice president for retail, said cash payments carry with them friction and pain points.

For example, a consumer who relies on cash might spend a good deal of time riding the bus to get to a central location — a check-cashing business, for example — where they can pay bills, buy groceries and take care of other necessities.

With bank branches shuttering, “financial deserts” are developing around the country, meaning that many cash payments are done at the landlord’s office or phone company’s office directly.

“We’re extending convenience to reduce those financial deserts in small towns and other places — and now you don’t have to make a special trip to make a payment,” Jaworski said at the time. “You can now make those payments in the course of your daily life.”

And because the system offers consumers digital confirmation, he said, payments can be made with confidence that the bill is taken care of.