The "underbanked" service industry should continue to grow over the next two years, according to a recently released study conducted hy the Center fo Financial Services Innovation (CFSI).

The CFSI study attempted to examine the various financial products and services targeted toward the underbanked population. The report, the "Underbanked Industry Scan," collected information about specific products, providers and consumer demographics.

The findings include:
* The demand for underbanked services should increase over the next two years, so providers should plan to enhance their products to meet this demand.
* For-profit companies are more optimistic about the potential for growth and demand for underbanked financial services market than nonprofits.
* Over half of those surveyed expect competition to increase.

Underbanked consumers are typically defined as those with limited access to mainstream financial services such as banks. Therefore, they rely on alternative financial services such as payday loans, cheque cashers and pawnshops.

CFSI received 171 responses to their survey. Financial providers included in the study were banks, payday loan lenders, credit unions, prepaid providers, nonprofit providers, retail financial services outlets, check cashers and other industries catering to the underbanked population.

The Center for Financial Services Innovation is a leading authority on financial services for underbanked consumers.