What It Means to be Unbanked and Unsafe
The risks here are real. While walking, you can encounter thieves. While walking, your bag can be stolen.
Seraphine Moulet, a kindergarten teacher and snack stall owner in the Democratic Republic of Congo, used to feel unsafe whenever she had to carry large sums of cash to her bank branch. Seraphine’s plight isn’t unique. For millions of people around the world, the risk of theft is real when traveling with cash to a bank, business, market or home.
Only a fifth of the developing world utilize financial institutions to keep money safe. Many store cash in their floorboards or under the mattress, where it is easy to be found and stolen. Others invest their savings in jewelry or livestock, a highly inflexible way to accrue and access savings.
By saving money in a trusted financial institution, like FINCA, millions have safely stored, grown and utilized their funds.
FINCA is also making banking safer for many like Seraphine by introducing agency and mobile banking in many of the countries we work in. Agency banking utilizes a network of local merchants and shopkeepers, to provide basic banking services. The agents are equipped with POS machines, a portable device that connects to FINCA bank accounts, easily and securely, through biometric fingerprints. Seraphine doesn’t have to worry about thieves stealing her business profits when her banking agent is close by her snack stall.
Keeping safe is one of the ways small business owners like Seraphine can remain unstoppable. Knowing her funds are in a safe place that is easily accessible, Seraphine can focus her time on growing her business, increasing her income and providing for her family.
I would like to be a really successful businesswoman.
You could be unbanked, too.
FINCA recently launched a new campaign, the Unstoppable Campaign, to showcase how FINCA transforms the lives of unbanked people around the world. It is also an opportunity for you to get a glimpse, first-hand, what it is like to feel “unbanked.”
Head to IamUnbanked.org, watch our latest campaign video and join the Unbanked Challenge, where you’ll pledge to spend one day without using credit and debit cards, ATMs, payment apps, checking and savings accounts, and with no online access to your money. You’ll only use the cash in your wallet to understand what it would be like to be unbanked. Don’t forget to share your experiences on social media with the hashtag #IamUnbanked.