Startup seeks to leverage AI, automation to reach unbanked population

In this episode of “The Buzz,” Bank Automation News speaks to Alok Prasad, CEO of startup CashRepublic, about using automation and artificial intelligence (AI) to help communities of color take advantage of banking services. CashRepublic serves the unbanked currently with two Florida locations where customers can cash checks, make wire transfers and other services. It plans to launch an app later this year.

In this episode of “The Buzz,” Bank Automation News speaks to Alok Prasad, CEO of startup CashRepublic, about using automation and artificial intelligence (AI) to help communities of color take advantage of banking services. CashRepublic serves the unbanked currently with two Florida locations where customers can cash checks, make wire transfers and other services. It plans to launch an app later this year. 

A recent FDIC survey showed that 5.4%, or 7.1 million U.S. households, are unbanked, meaning that no one surveyed in the household had a checking or savings account at a bank or credit union.  

Most of the unbanked are African American or Latino customers, populations that have been disproportionally affected by COVID-19, Prasad said.  

“We know that the pandemic has impacted these communities of color pretty strongly and you look at all the data whether it's death rate, you know, they tend to be 40% higher than other demographic,” Prasad said. “So, they have been hard hit both from the impact of the COVID, the healthcare inequalities that have been there, and also the financial inequalities.” 

Prasad contends that automation and AI can help serve the unbanked by lowering the cost of typical banking services. He explains in this podcast how Orlando-based CashRepublic plans to leverage the tech to reach those who feel disenfranchised by banks and credit unions. 

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