Research & Analysis

Being Able to Make (Small) Deposits and Payments, Anywhere

In this paper we put forth a vision in which people are able to make small deposits into their bank account through a variety of cash handling outlets right in their neighborhood. In fact, buying and selling deposits (i.e., depositing and withdrawing money from your current account) is just another product your local store or supermarket offers you, along with toothpaste and mobile prepaid cards.

Retail banking outlets work for all banks, and people spread their business across these outlets based on the quality and reliability of their cash handling service, the fees they charge, and perhaps the range of other products (bread, milk) they can buy at the same time. Neither depositors nor their banks need to have a particular level of trust in the retail outlet, beyond what they would normally expect when buying toothpaste or a mobile prepaid card. Banks, like Colgate with its toothpaste, can concentrate on product quality and marketing (i.e., branding) and can leave retail operations to third parties. Banks holding these deposits do not need to have any contractual relationship with the retail outlets themselves.