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Setting Trends in Alternative Financial Services

The Check Cashing industry has been under government scrutiny for years due to their perceived high percent charges for cashing checks. In reality, the Check Cashing Industry serves the need for a growing group of an under-served market. This market is known as the unbanked and underbanked. They are individuals who represent a population in the U.S. of 29 million people as reported by the FDIC in 2009. Defined by the FDIC; “The unbanked are households made up of minorities that do not have a checking or a savings account.” “The underbanked (also known as the debanked) consist of households having a checking or savings account however, rely on alternative financial services.” Since that report was published the complexion of the underbanked has changed significantly according bestselling author Brett King. He reports that 20% of our population representing 40 to 60 million people, half of which are college graduates, are an average age of 27 years old and 25% have prime credit rating are considered debanked. Why is this demographic considered to be debanked? It is because they do not see a need to choose traditional bank accounts and rely on services which are not only alternative but also built into mobile devices such as Smartphones.

Nowadays, the need to establish services which portray a positive public persona of the Check Cashing Industry goes far beyond the concern of government scrutiny. Check Cashers look to increase their bottom-line with the diversity of alternative financial services and savings programs, driving customers to their brick and mortar, web sites and Smartphones. The demand to provide added value services to their evolving customer base is the barometer to the success of Swapagift’s Service Center offerings.

Our flagship program of customer’s exchanging unwanted gift cards for cash at local Check Cashers has been the long established foundation of business model. Swapagift was the first to establish the trend of the secondary gift card market and continues to set trends with their New Clean Profitable Transaction Program, better known as CPT. The New Clean Profitable Transaction Program (CPT) enhances the offering by adding online solutions directly through Check Casher’s web site for customers to purchase discount gift cards and benefit from the savings of online coupons. Historically,’s Service Centers have been made up of Check Cashers through large chains, independently run franchises and small privately owned Mom and Pop stores.

I’ve recently had the privilege of joining the company as Swapagift Director. As the daughter of a first generation immigrant and a parent of 20 and 30 somethings, serving this market is near and dear to the core of my family, and is important to the evolution of our economy, country and our financial services.

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