A recent study suggested those who dont bank regularly are a $45 billion untapped market, and banks arent 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, theyre 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 theyre 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.