Who Are The Unbanked?

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Many clients use Currency Converters wire services because they’re less expensive than the same service offered at their bank. Many come to our office to buy currency because their banks require several days’ notice to order their currency, while we stock most currencies all the time. However, a handful of clients are with us not just because we save them money and time, but because they have no other banking options.

Who Are The Unbanked?

There are many groups of people and entities that we refer to as The Unbanked. These people have been excluded from the traditional banking system for many reasons that we outline below.

The Unbanked fall into one of three main categories:

1. The branchless. As its name suggests, these people would have access to a bank account and perhaps online banking, but a branch is not available to them. Large banks are vacating branches and encouraging clients to use ATMs. Virtual banks are growing in popularity. Remote areas have very few or no nearby branches. If you’re one of these clients, your options for withdrawing large sums of money, getting change, ordering a bank draft or a wire transfer are fairly limited.

2. The underbanked. Our Canadian laws protect the right to a bank account (with limits, and we’ve seen this right denied) but the Act doesn’t define the banking services that must be offered. Beyond a basic chequing or savings account, many of the unbanked are denied access to most credit products.

3. The truly unbanked. With no bank account and no access to credit products, these clients are the most vulnerable. These clients are without bank accounts for a variety of reasons:

    • They may have been exited from the banking system due to irresponsible choices
    • Because their name is the same as a known criminal
    • They are an entity in an industry that the banks dislike due to their volatility or risk, like cannabis, cryptocurrency, and construction
    • They are new Canadians

People and businesses that find themselves in any of these categories are forced to depend on alternative financial service institutions such as cheque cashing services, payday loan services, and foreign currency companies. 

Currency Converters is proud to be able to bridge this gap while saving you money. Get in touch with us here or visit us in Waterloo so we can help!

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