Fostering Financial Inclusion via Real-Time Digital Payments

This article was first published on Insights – Ripple

The number of unbanked and underbanked United States consumers is staggeringly high and will continue to rise as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Without full and fair access to basic financial services many of us take for granted, as much as 25% of the adult, bankable population in the United States spends a disproportionate amount of their income on exorbitant fees and unfairly high interest rates. 

When you layer on antiquated, bureaucratic legacy banking, many consumers face added indiginites, including delays, inefficiencies and hidden costs that make participation in the broader financial system difficult or out of reach. 

The solution? Simple. Immediate. Direct.

Enter: blockchain technology and digital assets. 

Blockchain technology and digital assets have the power to fundamentally transform the ways in which un- and underbanked people interact with the finance industry. Basic financial services will improve, particularly when it comes to receiving or sending funds electronically, from paychecks to COVID-related economic impact checks. 

Cross-border payments, or remittances, are also being transformed; today, they are far more cumbersome and costly for end users than they should be, but blockchain technology is  already providing a more fluid, reliable experience for those sending or receiving money around the world. 

The Democratization of Access

Currently there are 70 million people within the U.S. and an estimated 1.7 billion globally who live their daily lives outside the financial system. For these individuals, routines we sometimes take for granted — paying bills, cashing checks, sending money to family, building credit — are incredibly time consuming and prohibitively expensive – even if they have enough money to need these services.

How expensive? Well, among those with  low incomes and low access to basic financial services, it is not uncommon to spend as much as 10% of disposable ...

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Insights – Ripple

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