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Payments professionals are often surprised to learn that 7.1 million American households don’t have a bank account. And 18.6 million “underbanked” households have an account but often turn elsewhere for financial services. Worse still, many believe that COVID-19 will further increase the number of Americans seeking out alternative (and often expensive) financial products. Despite being on the periphery of the banking system, the unbanked still pay bills, make purchases online, and send money to friends and family. Meeting the needs of these consumers requires creative solutions, for sure, but unlocks opportunities for payments professionals across use cases and domains.

Topics Covered

Definitions and key concepts; unbanked and underbanked demographics, attitudes and motivations, market forces affecting financial access (including technology, regulation, and the ongoing pandemic), and an exploration of innovative products and services designed to reach underserved consumers.

Learning Objectives

To help payments professionals understand potential benefits of designing solutions for financially underserved consumers, and building blocks for doing so.


  • Erin McCune

    Erin focuses her 20 years consulting experience and business insight on the firm's enterprise clients seeking to optimize their B2B payments, cross-border transactions, and bill payment operations within corporate finance, banking, and ERP/accounting.

  • Justin Pituch

    Justin brings to Glenbrook's consulting clients analytical and project skills, informed by his experience in treasury operations, merchant card acceptance optimization, and economic research.

  • Laura Dreese

    Laura brings Glenbrook's global practice clients significant experience in the international financial inclusion space.

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