From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The underbanked is a characteristic describing people or organizations who do not (or volunteer to not) have sufficient access to mainstream financial services and products typically offered by retail banks and thus often deprived of banking services such as credit cards or loans. The underbanked can be characterized by a strong reliance on non-traditional forms of finance and micro-finance often associated with disadvantaged and the poor, such as cheque cashers, loan sharks and pawnbrokers.

Many people who are classified as underbanked may also have a language barrier, such as migrant workers, be unable to access banking facilities due to distance, such as the elderly, or simply feel uncomfortable using automated teller machines.

The underbanked are a distinct group from the unbanked, who are characterized by having no banking facilities at all.[1]


Small countries have fewer banking provisions than large countries, even allowing for the smaller size of their economies.[2]


There are many microfinance initiatives such as the Grameen Bank that aim to improve the provision of banking and financial services to poor communities.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Retsinas, Nicolas Paul; Belsky, Eric S. (2005). Building assets, building credit: creating wealth in low-income communities. Brookings Institution Press. p. 299. ISBN 978-0-8157-7409-9.
  2. ^ Hanson, James A.; Honohan, Patrick; Majnoni, Giovanni (2003). Globalization and National Financial Systems. World Bank Publications. p. 91. ISBN 978-0-8213-5208-3.

Further reading[edit]