This three-part series will discuss the underserved, a population of Americans whose financial needs are not entirely being met by mainstream financial services institutions- Earlier this year, NPR posted an article (1) about the US Postal Service, which, in the absence of growing mail volumes and associated revenues, is exploring new revenue channels. According to its own recent study (2), the Postal Service is ‘well positioned to provide non-bank financial services to those whose needs are not being met by the traditional financial sector’. This is mostly due to its far-reaching physical network and its position as one of the most trusted institutions in the US. Two significant takeaways emerge from these articles:
- Financial institutions are suffering from a ‘trust gap’ with consumers on the heels of the Recession;
- Financial institutions are not servicing a huge part of the population. According to the USPS study, nearly 68 million consumers – or more than a quarter of adult Americans – are currently underserved.
- Millennials who have not yet established extensive credit histories;
- Widowed Boomers whose deceased spouses were the focus of their households’ financial activity;
- Middle-class workers whose households were particularly hard-hit by the Recession and are still struggling;
- Recent immigrants to the US.