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un·​der·​banked ˌən-dər-ˈbaŋ(k)t How to pronounce underbanked (audio)
: not using or having access to a full range of banking options
[The survey] also measures how many households are underbanked, meaning they have a bank account but look outside the banking system to meet transaction or credit needs.FDIC
Workers who live from paycheck to paycheck can easily slide from the traditional banking world to the underbanked world and then to the unbanked.Mikki Kendall


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: a person or group of people who do not utilize or have access to a full range of banking options
As online transactions become ubiquitous, life has become more challenging for those who rely on cash: the unbanked, those who don't or can't access banking and financial services, and the underbanked, those who don't make full use of such services.Jackie Benton
Now he [Michael Broughton, CEO of Altro] wants to empower the underbanked, and eventually folks without any bank account at all, to have more financial power.Sara Bloomberg

Examples of underbanked in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Black and Latino households are the populations most likely to be either unbanked or underbanked in Los Angeles and nationally, Hutt said. Carly Olson, Los Angeles Times, 22 Aug. 2023 The underbanked represented 14% of U.S. households, or 18.7 million, last year. Charisse Jones, USA TODAY, 26 Oct. 2022 In one case study, the report cited a new type of checking account Citibank created after a multi-year inclusion effort to understand the barriers to and reach underbanked areas–often Black and Hispanic/Latine communities–with new financial products. Trier Bryant, Fortune, 17 Mar. 2023 Among households that are underbanked or have no accounts at all, 14% are Latino as compared with 3% of white households. Charisse Jones, USA TODAY, 11 Jan. 2022 Lindenmeyer said her role specifically will support the office of the CEO, Gig Wage founder Craig J. Lewis, in creating the go-to banking service for gig economy workers who are often underbanked and lacking benefits like health care and life insurance. Dom Difurio, Dallas News, 8 July 2021 Cryptocurrency give widely underbanked societies the opportunity to participate in the global economy, part of their appeal and growing popularity in Latin America, said Tony Delgado, founder of the financial literacy platform Latino Wall Street. Washington Post, 7 June 2021 As of June 2020, there were 18 Black banks in communities across the U.S., each working to shrink the share of the underbanked population and extend capital to entrepreneurs and would-be homeowners that major commercial banks will not. Kevin Garnett, Time, 1 June 2021 CBDCs are being considered by a number of central banks and could offer some potential benefits, including a more efficient mechanism for cross-border transactions and a way to give underbanked consumers access to digital currency. Phillip Molnar, San Diego Union-Tribune, 28 May 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'underbanked.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



under entry 1 + banked, past participle of bank entry 4


derivative of underbanked entry 1

First Known Use


1845, in the meaning defined above


1995, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of underbanked was in 1845

Dictionary Entries Near underbanked

Cite this Entry

“Underbanked.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/underbanked. Accessed 7 Dec. 2023.

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