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Historically, the US banking industry has discussed financial inclusion solely in terms of corporate social responsibility (CSR). Offering services to the underserved — unbanked consumers who lack access to banking products, and underbanked consumers who make only limited use of mainstream financial services — has long been economically unviable. But two forces have flipped the conversation from CSR to a genuine business opportunity.
First, digital tools from mobile banking to AI are driving down costs and allowing financial institutions (FIs) to offer previously untenable products, such as fee-free accounts or credit scoring based on unconventional data.
Second, the US’ financial landscape is more competitive than ever, as fintechs, incumbents, and even tech companies like Amazon vie for larger shares of the overall space. That’s creating a compelling reason for banks to seek out fresh growth opportunities, and the financially underserved represent just that. And with close to 33 million US households either unbanked or underbanked, the opportunity for fast-moving banks is huge.
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Source:: Businessinsider – Finance