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Driver of choice? the cost of financial products for unbanked consumers
This paper examines whether some of the unbanked consumers' choice of general purpose reloadable (GPR) prepaid cards over checking accounts and alternative financial service (AFS) products can be explained by the cost incurred by those consumers. We compare the three types of products by constructing consumer models based on the actual behavior of GPR prepaid cardholders and applying those models to the fee schedules of actual products offered in the market. Overdrafts are a major factor affecting the cost rankings. For consumers who regularly or occasionally overdraw their accounts, checking ...
Pandemic Relief Has Aided Low-Income Individuals: Evidence from Alternative Financial Services
Although low-income individuals are more likely to have lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, pandemic relief efforts may have helped prevent them from experiencing increased financial distress. Consumer interest in payday loans, title loans, and pawn loans have all declined since the onset of the pandemic, suggesting low-income individuals have been able to access credit and meet basic financial needs without the use of these alternative financial services.