Sunday, April 19, 2009

Hispanic Online Banking

Many are surprised to discover that Hispanics participate in online banking. Comscore reports that nearly half (47 percent) of Hispanics looked up bank account balances online. And 12 percent paid their bills online, as opposed to 5 percent of non-Hispanics.

Despite these strong numbers, Latino banking activity still has some growing to do. The challenge: according to Simmons, 52% of Hispanics don't have any bank account at all. On the good side, banks can expect $200 billion in new business over the next few years and Hispanics have the least amount of debt of any ethnicity. However, on the negative side, Hispanics are not fully realizing their financial potential and building their credit history. This impedes their ability to secure better financing on homes and new cars in the future.

Several banks and MasterCard have engaged Latinos for years via financial education campaigns to reduce the number of the unbanked. Prepaid cards have recently been introduced as a stepping stone to building credit history. Similar to prepaid phone cards, a concept that Hispanics are intimately familiar with, is a great way to teach them about the product benefits. However, these efforts have been spotty and certainly have not had the same level of push as other initiatives.

Banks should take note, a financial sleeping giant is starting to wake up. Perhaps more aggressive courting of this key demographic can help pull the industry out of its slump?


  1. "BPI is currently holding a contest right now that is giving away Sony Laptop and Sony Digicam. why not give it a try?

  2. JP, you need to check out a July 2010 study by Pew Hispanic Center. It paints a more complicated picture of Hispanics and Internet usage. The Latino Digital Divide: The Native Born Versus The Foreign Born (

    The study does a decent job of segmenting native and foreign-born Latinos. While Internet usage among native born Latinos is strong, when you add the foreign-born Latino to the mix the percentage falls significantly.

    As such, it is important to consider the segment you are looking to attract because it will determine the size of the market and the effort needed to bring them into the mix.

    Great post.


    Jesse Torres
    President and CEO
    Pan American Bank
    East Los Angeles, CA 90063
    "California's Oldest Latino-Owned Bank"

  3. "nearly half (47 percent) of Hispanics looked up bank account balances online" but " 52% of Hispanics don't have any bank account at all."

    Check your math please. thanks for the info though.