Use of Financial Services by the Unbanked and Underbanked

Managing consumer's finances

Mobile phone use has become a standard aspect of daily life for many Americans in the last decade. The increased use of these devices coupled with the evolution of technologies that enable consumers to conduct financial transactions using their mobile phones has the potential to change how consumers manage their finances as new services and tools emerge. In addition, innovative financial service technologies may help foster financial access and inclusion in the mainstream financial system for underserved consumers—those who are unbanked or underbanked. For these reasons, the Federal Reserve Board has been monitoring trends and developments in mobile financial services such as mobile banking and payments. In late December 2011 and early January 2012, the Board’s Division of Consumer and Community Affairs (DCCA) conducted a survey in order to better understand consumers’ use of and opinions about mobile financial services.

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