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A Market Analysis of U.S. Check Cashing and Money Transfer

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Jun 05,2013 : Bharat Book Bureau presents the new report, on 'U.S. Check Cashing & Money Transfer Services: A Market Analysis' Many companies are happy to accept the business of consumers with spotty credit records who have been rejected by banks--the 12 million “unbanked” households that choose not to use traditional banks.


This updated analysis by Marketdata Enterprises examines the controversial but growing “alternative financial services” sector — a $34 billion business comprised of fragmented and loosely regulated check cashing and money transfer services. Payday loan stores and pawn shops are also considered. These outlets serve 35% of the U.S. population. Many companies are happy to accept the business of consumers with spotty credit records who have been rejected by banks--the 12 million “unbanked” households that choose not to use traditional banks.

There are 11,800 check cashing outlets, and nearly 1 million money transfer agents competing for this business today. Many outlets/services overlap—providing multiple services at the same site. The study explores why check cashers have had to diversify, and the effects of the economic slowdown, competition, and new technologies.

This new study by Marketdata examines the nature of the business, reasons for the growth of non-bank services, immigration trends, industry receipts/growth from 1999-2012, 2013 to 2017 forecasts, average store revenues, extensive customer demographics, key industry trends, federal/state industry regulation/fee caps, self-service check cashing machines, profit margins, franchising, gold buying/selling, global remittance trends, consumer debt levels, reasons for the industry’s improved image, and more. Findings of research studies by: Fannie Mae, Georgetown University, FISCA, Federal Reserve Board, brokerage analysts, Natl. Check Casher’s Assn., state banking departments, The World Bank, INS, U.S. Census Bureau, FDIC, brokerage firms, and more.

This study is believed to be one of the few in-depth publicly available business analyses that exists of this market. Seven in-depth company profiles (some with 2008-2012 financials) are provided for: ACE Cash Express, Check Into Cash, DFC Global, Western Union, Moneygram, Ria Financial, Check Into Cash, and AMSCOT Financial.

Table of Contents
Introduction: Study Scope, Sources, Methodology 1-6
Executive Overview of Major Findings ($300) 7-27
* Definition of the components of the U.S. market serving consumers outside of the traditional financial services market (the “unbanked”). Alternative financial services: Check Cashing Stores, Money Transfer Services. Definition of each segment, nature of the business/how it works, number of outlets, reasons for growth, dollar mkt. size 1999-2012, 2013 & 2017 forecasts, major competitors.
* Major market trends affecting each sector: move into payday loans and diversification to other services, state regulation, increased competition, industry critics, consolidation, etc.
* Effects of the recession, 2008-2011 mkt. performance, new technology, shift to electronic payments via debit cards, U.S. immigration trends, remittance inflows/outflows
* 2012 & 2013 outlooks for each segment
* Composition of check casher revenues by type: 2007 vs. 2012
* Discussion of reasons for growth of non-bank services, population below poverty level.
* Discussion of household debt levels.
* Discussion of bankruptcy trends.
* Discussion of annual U.S. immigration.

- U.S. Population Living Below the Poverty Level (1990-2011)
- Reasons Why Unbanked Families Do Not Have Checking Accounts
- Market potential: 1999-2012 estimated $ receipts of check cashing outlets, money transfers, pawnshops, payday loan services, total industry.
- Check cashing industry revenues: 1999-2017
- The major check cashing franchises: no. of outlets 2005, 2007, 2012
- Money Transfer Industry Revenues: 1999-2017

Customer Demographics: The Unbanked Population ($175) 28-46

-Discussion of the unbanked population, Findings of FDIC survey: percent and no. of unbanked households
- Banking status for select demographic groups
- Use of pre-paid debit cards, alternative financial services used most often
- Reasons unbanked households don’t have a bank account
- Table: 1999-2012 market potentials of the major market segments: check cashing, money transfer, pawn shops, payday loans, total
- Trends in consumer debt levels – discussion, last 5 years, delinquencies, analysis by Federal Reserve, 2007-2010 improvement trends
- Table: Debt payments relative to family income: 2001, 2004, 2007, 2010 – by age of household head, % of income, % of net worth, housing status, past due status, discussion of mortgage vs. consumer debt levels
- Bankruptcy trends: 1991-2012, non-commercial bankruptcies, (chap.7,11,13), Discussion, table, state differences
- Foreclosure trends – discussion, recent trends, now vs. recession period
- Table: U.S. population living below poverty level: 1990-2011.

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