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Unbanked benefit from online, prepaid card technology

February 14, 2013

A recent study by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation found that more than one in four United States households are unbanked or underbanked, but thanks to online credit card processing technology and prepaid debit cards, some Americans are making their way to a more secure future.

A recent study by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation found that more than one in four United States households are unbanked or underbanked, but thanks to online credit card processing technology and prepaid debit cards, some Americans are making their way to a more secure future.

Marketplace recently highlighted some payment methods that provide unbanked individuals with alternatives to using money orders and payday lender services. Online credit card processing methods are becoming more instrumental in helping underserved individuals stay ahead of their bills. Marketplace interviewed Debra Hopper, an unbanked worker at a power company who has her paychecks deposited directly into a prepaid debit card. She is able to check the status of transactions on her phone.

People like Hopper are also assisted by services like PayNearMe, which makes it possible for them to send debit card payments for their rent and other expenses that may not normally be payable by online credit card processing.

The terms “unbanked” and “underbanked” refer to individuals who lack access to traditional banks. Some individuals are unbanked because they choose to use alternative financial services, but others are unable to open accounts because they do not make enough money to maintain a minimum balance or have been blacklisted due to overdrafts and other reasons. Being unbanked can lead to difficulties in paying bills and conducting other essential transactions.

 

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