Why America’s “underbanked” are key to the growth of mobile payments

Roger Ellis:

Good to see mobile technology helping marginalized groups.

Originally posted on Gigaom:

At the height of the first Great Depression, President Roosevelt signed the Banking Act of 1933, which established the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. This was meant to insure account holders and protect them from losing everything in the event of another crash. While the majority of Americans conformed to the new banking system, a smaller percentage did not and instead rely on a cash-based economy – a group that came to be known in the financial industry as the “underbanked.”

Fast forward to 2013 and America’s underbanked population has swelled to some 68 million people. Research from the Federal Reserve Board shows, surprisingly, that the underbanked have adopted mobile and smartphones at a higher rate than the average American. And not only are they more likely to own a cellphone, but because these low-to-moderate income consumers are less likely to have in-home internet access, they rely more on their phones for…

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