The unbanked opportunity

The number of people using mobile phones and apps has grown considerably in the past decade. However, the number of people not having a regular bank account, the unbanked, sits on an average of 50% globally. Many of these unbanked live in rural areas. This banking opportunity is mainly untapped and represents a sizeable golden opportunity.

Traditionally, community banks are commonly centered around communities. Statistically, 94% of banks in the United States are considered Community Banks, although they account for only 10% of total bank deposits. Their customers are often intergenerational, creating long-lasting, committed personal and community relationships.

It is this familial familiarity that gives community banks an excellent opportunity to target the unbanked. The unbanked population is made up of all walks of society, including seasonal workers, immigrants, low income, and those reliant on government subsidies. The unbanked are just that because they live paycheck-to-paycheck. The intensified globalization affecting migration and economic change, compounded by the pandemic, immediate change is needed to address the widening socio-economic gap between the banked and the unbanked.

This presents community and new banks with many possibilities to encourage, woo, literally millions of people to take advantage of the traditional personal services that are their edge instead of the impersonality and indifference many significant players within the banking industry have.

Whether the bank presents traditional bricks-and-mortar services to the unbanked or whether they promote their own or affiliated mobile banking apps, community banks are at a juncture that could be boom or bust in these uncertain times.

Youtap has worked with the unbanked for the past decade providing mobile network operators, banks, and retail conglomerates with solutions that bridge the divide between the have and the have nots, the communities wanting to address inequities within their population or governments wishing to take their economies cashless.

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