Bringing In the Underbanked


Tara Annison


6th edition (2016/2017)


Credit / Exclusion / Technology

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Current banking provisions leave an estimated 2.5 billion (Chaia, Goland, Schiff, 2010) adults worldwide without access to a formal bank account. This means they are deprived of the opportunity to save and to borrow money at the best, regulated rates. Whilst 2.2 billion of these underserved adults reside in developing markets such as Africa, Asia and Latin America (Chaia et al, 2010), there are also 106 million adults in North America (Ashoka, 2013) and 1.5 million in Britain (FIC, 2016) without the necessary banking provisions.

These individuals may be from low income families, with no credit history. They may have no fixed abode, choosing to live in unconventional accommodation such a boats or caravans, or may be refugees, or internally displaced people who cannot provide formal identification. Furthermore, segments of the populace who are unable to leverage technological developments such as online and mobile banking may also find themselves isolated from these rapidly growing credit channels.

It is these individuals who are defined as ‘the underbanked’.

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