Key Takeaway

Unbanked people reported statistically significant increases in favorability towards banks, interest in learning more about opening a bank account, and intent to open an account after seeing or hearing messages about the benefits of transactional accounts.

This report, Making the Case for Banking Access: Talking to Unbanked People About Bank Accounts, explores effective messages for communicating with those who are unbanked about the value of safe accounts. The CFE Fund commissioned strategic communications firm RALLY and polling research firm PSB to field a multi-city series of focus groups and surveys to uncover what types of messaging would most effectively move unbanked people to open accounts; a subset of the research focused on the financial attitudes, habits, and goals of unbanked people, as well as on Spanish-speaking unbanked people and how messages might best engage them to open accounts.

Additional Takeaways

Those who are unbanked don’t respond strongly to long-term, aspirational goals; they first need to be engaged on how a bank account can help them where they currently are, such as building savings, decreasing debt, and building an emergency fund.

Specific, tangible features related to securing their money – like no fees, fraud protection, and direct deposit – are most compelling account advantages to those who are unbanked.

Messages that highlight tools for easy banking; emphasize how bank accounts can help maintain control over money; and note how bank accounts can help achieve short-term financial goals were the most compelling.

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