If you’re among the unbanked in America and you own a smartphone, that little device could be your onramp to the financial mainstream. Mobile apps may encourage the use of traditional banking services, according to a Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. survey.
Smartphones are changing how people approach banking, most significantly among the underbanked, which includes those households that have an account at a financial institution but use alternative service providers such as check-cashing stores or payday lenders, the FDIC said in reporting the survey results. The agency says that about 30% of underbanked households use mobile devices to get into their accounts, compared with almost 22% of fully banked households.
“Mobile technologies might also become useful tools for bringing unbanked households into the financial mainstream,” the agency said. “Innovations such as mobile account opening could play a role in expanding access to banking for the unbanked.”
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