The Hidden Costs of Being Unbanked — How We All Pay

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When was the last time you paid your bills? How did you pay them? For many of us, including myself, the answers are: once in the past month, and electronically through a bank account. Which is great, for us. But what about people who don’t have a checking or savings account at a bank or […]

4 Unexpected Facts About the Unbanked

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From time to time, we see stories in the news that refer to unbanked households — defined by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as households in which no one has a checking or savings account at a bank or credit union.  Perhaps our first reaction is disbelief: How can anyone live in today’s high-tech, […]

Pass-Along Savings: Serving the Unbanked Delivers a Win for All


There’s nothing like when a plan comes together – especially with a surprise benefit. I had that revelation after a recent meeting with Director/CEO Gary Brown and COO Rob Presnell of the Detroit Water & Sewerage Department (DWSD). It had been a year since the installation of the DivDat Kiosk Network in locations across the […]

Just Like Cashless Stores, Convenience Fees Discriminate


A funny thing happened recently in New York City. When the latest Amazon Go store opened in early May, it was announced – with emphasis – the store accepts cash. Business Insider even tested the cash-acceptance feature and found “it was well thought-out and worked adequately.” It’s not quite what Amazon envisioned with the Go […]

What If Executives Stood in Line to Pay Bills?

I encourage executive leaders of energy companies, municipalities, mayors and other essential billers to walk just one day in the shoes of their most challenged customers – the unbanked. How easy is it for an unbanked customer to pay bills at your organization? In thinking about this challenge, I remembered the apocryphal story of when […]

How Technology Enables the Nation’s Unbanked to Be Good Customers and Build Credit


It’s no secret being poor and unbanked is expensive. Over 25% of Americans are underbanked or have no banking relationship, they struggle to pay their bills conveniently and on time, and are unable to build the credit history essential to getting loans from financial institutions at affordable rates. Here are the numbers according to the […]