Un- and Underbanked Research

Understand the history and challenges of the traditionally un- and underbanked, terms pioneered by CFSI over a decade ago.

What is “Underbanked”? Since 2004, CFSI has used the term underbanked to refer to both the unbanked – consumers with no current checking or savings account – and the underbanked – consumers that have checking and/or savings accounts but turn to alternative financial services to meet their needs.

Our 2008 research showed that approximately 30 million households and 90 million adults were financially un- or underbanked, comprising this growing market segment. Since then the FDIC has published bi-annual reports on the market, and in 2013 cited the market size as including 24.8 million households. While still a term used industry-wide, “underbanked” has outlived its usefulness. For years we published research on this market segment, popularized the terminology, and established ourselves as the industry expert.

Un- and Underbanked Research