Unbanked: What It Means To Be Outside Of The Banking System : 1A Bank accounts can be used for a lot of things, including to help you build credit. But almost 63 million Americans are either unbanked or underbanked. That means they don't use banks to make financial transactions like cashing checks, saving money or applying for credit.

We discuss the impacts of being unbanked and underbanked and what communities are doing to try and help create access.

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Unbanked: What It Means To Be Outside Of The Banking System

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Unbanked: What It Means To Be Outside Of The Banking System

1A

Unbanked: What It Means To Be Outside Of The Banking System

Unbanked: What It Means To Be Outside Of The Banking System

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/984475870/984515003" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Why are some people unbanked or underbanked? ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images

Why are some people unbanked or underbanked?

ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images

Approximately 63 million Americans are either unbanked or underbanked, according to a report by the Federal Reserve. That means they don't use banks to make financial transactions like cashing checks, saving money or applying for credit.

That's because some are discouraged from opening accounts due to high fees. Others don't trust financial institutions. But being outside of the banking system can leave people vulnerable, especially during a pandemic where many retailers and businesses are relying on cashless transactions.

How do the unbanked or underbanked financially navigate living in the U.S.? And what does an increasingly cashless future look like for them?

Diane Standaert, Naomi Camper, Dean Karlan and Kara Perez helped us answer these questions and more.

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