Regulation

CFPB seeks comment on impact of mobile services on underbanked

CFPB_LogoThe CFPB announced last week that it will conduct an analysis of the use of mobile financial services to examine how the technologies affect the unbanked and underserved who have limited access to traditional banking.

According to data from the FDIC, approximately 90 percent of all U.S. consumers own a mobile phone, 60 percent of which are smartphones, and another 50 million have tablet devices.

Approximately eight percent of American households are unbanked while approximately 20 percent of households are underbanked.

“In a world where people can manage their money on the go, there is great potential to serve more consumers and allow them to take greater control of their finances,” CFPB Director Richard Cordray said. “But we need to make sure all consumers are protected whether they are opening their wallets or scanning the screen on their smartphones.”

The CFPB said mobile financial services may serve as an easier, cheaper and more efficient way to pay bills and handle other financial activities. The agency is seeking information on the cost and availability of current services, the use of mobile banking services for real-time money management, privacy-related concerns and customer service processes.

Comments on the request for information are due on or before Sept. 9.

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