Minorities Use Mobile Banking at Higher Percentages than Whites in the US

 FINRA Mobile BankingMinorities use mobile banking at higher percentages than whites in the US. In the most recent episode of FINRA’s podcast Unscripted, Gerri Walsh, a Senior Vice President at FINRA, and Gary Mottola, the Research Director for Investor Education at FINRA, joined the broadcast. 

This was the second in a two part show; the first part is here

Walsh and Mottola took a deep dive into the FINRA Foundation Financial Capability Study which was released in June 2019

One interesting finding was on usage of mobile banking. 

“You see whites using it (mobile banking) at a significantly lower rate than minorities.” Mottola said. 

We don’t know the why,” Walsh stated.

Mottola said this was a topic in need of more research. 

Less surprisingly, the study found that mobile banking use in the US skews younger.

The study also looked at that the Gig economy- apps like Uber, Lyft, Taskrabbit, etc- which are, “temporary, flexible jobs are commonplace and companies tend toward hiring independent contractors and freelancers instead of full-time employees,” according to Investopedia

Gerri Walsh
Gerri Walsh

“We found that nearly a third of Americans make money from work outside their primary employment- whether that’s part-time employment or full-time employment- and about one in six get that work through a gig economy app or website like Taskrabbit, but we see that people that are participating in the gig are actually finding it harder to make ends meet,” Walsh said, “they’re more likely than folks who don’t have some side hustle work or some extra contingent work to pay their monthly bills, they’re less likely to be saving, and they’re more likely to have experienced a recent drop in their income.”

Mottola added, “It seems that financial strain is driving them to the gig economy as opposed to the gig economy making things easier for them.”

The Financial Capability Study was first released in 2009 and some of the questions evolve, including looking at the Gig economy.

Another question the study looked at was student loan debt which has dominated debate in the US.

Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren has proposed a plan to wipe out a lot of student loan debt while Bernie Sanders wants to forgive all student loan debt

“Among Americans with student loan debt- with student loans right now- about half say they wish they went to a less expensive school,” Mottola said. 

“It feels like buyer’s remorse,” Walsh added, “because only about nine percent of the people who do not have student debt currently say they wish they had gone to a less expensive college.”

Mottola added that the study found that people don’t have payback plans when they take on this debt. 

“We ask have you given thought to how much you’re gonna have to payback when you begin paying your student loans and most students have not given any thought to that.” Mottola added. 

FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, is a self-regulatory organization, which was formed in 2007 when the regulatory arms of the NYSE and the NASD merged.