The ATM Industry Association (ATMIA) announced today the creation of a new U.S. Underbanked Forum, to help foster development and deployment of ATM solutions addressing the needs of the unbanked and underbanked.
Although explosive growth in the use of mobile devices for payments and banking services has dramatically improved consumer accessibility, there is still a need for more options that are not tied to traditional bank accounts.
"A 2012 'Forbes' article referenced an FDIC survey indicating that 28.3% of U.S. households conduct the majority of their financial transactions outside of the traditional banking system" says ATMIA USA Executive Director, David Tente. "And contrary to what you might expect, that represents an increase of 821,000 households, compared to 2009 when they conducted their first survey. The need for ATM-based solutions targeting underbanked consumers is greater than ever," Tente added.
The new Forum will serve as a vehicle for facilitating collaboration among the various ATMIA member constituencies, in an innovative and non-competitive environment. "The ATM is the perfect platform for linking traditional and non-traditional financial transactions, " explains Tente. "And financial institutions, independent operators, networks, and processors all share a very high level of interest in creating new solutions to serve this market."
Growing interest in cardless transactions at the ATM may also help accelerate the development of payment options targeting the underbanked; who generally don't possess a debit or ATM card. QR code, one-time PIN, and other token-based applications are already being piloted in a number of U.S. markets.
ATMIA's U.S. Underbanked Forum is scheduled to hold its first meeting on April 30, 2014.