The Debanked: An update on unbanked consumers

by. Ron Shevlin

Most of you are genuinely nice, caring people who sincerely want to help other people who may be in need. Whatever.

But for too many of you, your view of what it means to be “unbanked” in America is off-kilter.

Bring up the topic of unbanked consumers, and it conjures notions of poverty-stricken, under-served and under-privileged people who have been “excluded” from the banking system by evil bankers who put profits before people. Let me wipe the tears from my eyes.

There are certainly people who fit the description I just laid out. But thinking that everyone who is unbanked fits the description is about as far away from reality as you can get.

I first wrote about a segment of consumers I call the Debanked–consumers who willingly opt out of the traditional banking product structure, and manage their financial lives with “alternative” financial products–back in October 2011.

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