The Future of Cash Part 2: Implications of the Underground Economy

The effects of the unbanked and underbanked population

Written by  on December 15, 2016

In our previous post, we discussed the future of cash as it relates to millennials and digital payment methodologies. There is another key component shaping the future of cash, and that’s the unbanked and underbanked population.  

General estimates are that about 13% of the US GDP can be attributed to the underground economy. That’s nearly $1.3 trillion. And, we’re not talking about illegal activities, we’re talking about fundamental services and small businesses where cash transactions are the main source of payment.  

There is approximately 30% of the US population that exists in terms of unbanked or underbanked. In other words, they have no formal banking relationship.  As a consequence, this creates a huge amount of extra cash in circulation, cash that needs to be moved around, deposited, transferred and withdrawn.  

And, increasingly for individuals it comes down to what is the most convenient point of access for a cash transaction? Typically, it’s been a bank branch, however what we see moving forward is that it won’t necessarily be a bank branch, it may still be a financial institution, but in an unconventional setting.                

Likewise, where we have typically seen ATMs in places like grocery stores, coffee shops and gas stations, we see those types of retail financial access venues becoming much more sophisticated in the types of transactions they can handle in order to better serve this underbanked population.  

The industry is coming to a crossroads where purpose-built retail machines and the industry’s most advanced technology for Financial Institutions are becoming one ecosystem. And, as the industry leader, Hyosung is uniquely positioned to merge these two worlds together into the type of Financial Access Venue that consumers will be looking forward to in the future as being their most convenient touchpoint to conduct a financial transaction.

Nancy G. Daniels


Nancy Daniels oversees the ATM and Branch Automation business across North America and Mexico for Hyosung, and international leader at the forefront of financial transaction technology. In her role, she leads all operations services, sales and innovation initiatives, and guides the company’s continued North America expansion. An industry veteran, Ms. Daniels brings an unparalleled track record of global business and technology experience with Fortune 500 companies. She has served more than 25 years in various domestic and international leadership roles in the financial industry, and over 15 years in the defense industry. 

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