Digital banking trends and advancing technology can imply that the unbanked or the underbanked are a diminishing group in U.S. society, but figures show that the underbanked comprise almost a quarter of the population. Unfortunately, this group is likely to be low income, to have suffered an economic shock, or to face high costs when accessing their funds.
The Council of Economic Advisors considers the change in the number of unbanked or underbanked to be heading in the right direction thanks to direct deposit, community development funding, and the efforts of the FinTech industry, but Bonnie Blankenship of the Cleveland Fed begs to differ. Blankenship thinks that a lack of access to banks and high fees will increase the number of underbanked who are turning to payday lenders instead.
Here are the numbers:
$32.5 billion | The amount banks charged in fees in between June 2014-June 2015
10 million | The number of U.S. households without a bank account as of 2013
28% | The percentage of consumers who closed a checking account because of overdraft fees in 2014
20% | The percentage of underbanked U.S. households
5 | The number of years the unbanked has remained at or above pre-recession levels, according to reports from the Council of Economic Advisors