NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Last month the FDIC made a big deal out of pointing out that 17 million adults are "unbanked," and 51 million are considered "underbanked," meaning they have poor access to checking accounts and credit cards.
Without banks, consumers rely on check cashing services and pawn shops that take a huge bite out of every dollar going through them. Companies like
Fast Cash Financial Services
(FCFS) on the transaction side and
(EZPN) on the credit side do big business, as
Past efforts to reach these consumers through technology, prepaid debit cards offered by companies like Green Dot (GDOT) and Netspend (NTSP), have failed, even with celebrity endorsers like Russell Simmons and Magic Johnson, because it's tough to get poor people to trust plastic and celebrities aren't brands. Plus, folks want a physical location, not a virtual one.After trialing this business earlier in the year and seeming to back off due to poor results,
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