City’s Tech Whizzes Should Create an Uber for the Unbanked

Massive tech-inspired reductions in the high rates of financially under-served New Yorkers are not unrealistic. Considering that 96 percent of New York city residents have a cellphone—higher than the national average—perhaps a mobile solution is a start. One model would be the approach taken by Neighborhood Trust, a Washington Heights non-profit specializing in financial literacy and empowerment for low-income New Yorkers. In concert with Cardwell Beach, a Brooklyn-based development team, they're managing to help hundreds of NYC residents access resources and track goals via mobile apps that reduce the need for face-to-face financial counseling sessions. Clients map out income and expenses, set up automated savings accounts, gain access to credit unions, and receive assistance paying off high-interest debt. [...]