Banks Look to “Unbanked” As Great Untapped Market

A recent study suggested those who don’t bank regularly are a $45 billion untapped market, and banks aren’t going to let payday lenders and others get in the way of reaching that group of people. With an estimated nine million households without a traditional bank account, the right marketing campaign could certainly help them reach that population quickly.

While banks once avoided that market entirely, thanks to various government reforms, they’re looking for a new way to cash in on fees, and the low income population often provides exactly that. From short-term payday type loans to checking accounts to prepaid cards and check cashing services, banks these days are offering it all just to reach this all-important source of potential income.

It seems only the banks are happy about this new direction, though. Customers often feel like they’re not getting the same pitch a wealthy customer might, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has said that the payday loans many banks are starting to offer raise some serious concerns.

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/26/business/chasing-fees-banks-court-low-income-customers.html

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