Fletcher in the News

For the Unbanked and Underbanked, Cash is Costly: IBGC Study in Gothamist

Cost of Cash, The Fletcher School, IGBC

The less money you have, the more money you spend to get your money. According to a study published by the Institute for Business in the Global Context at Tufts University, people who don't have a checking or savings account are four times likely to pay fees to access their money through ATM charges, check-cashing fees, and other tariffs that the authors of the study say have "the effect of a regressive tax" which "exacerbates social inequalities." 

8.2% of U.S. households don't have checking or savings accounts, and are called "unbanked." 20.1% of households are "underbanked," while only two thirds of the country's homes have both checking and savings accounts. 

…“The truth is every payment instrument adds a disproportionate cost onto the poor,” one of the study's authors, Bhaskar Chakravorti, tells The New Yorker. “Yet cash we tend to think of as the poor man’s best friend. That is where we’re wrong.” 

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