Of Banking Deserts and Payment App Scams

A week of consumer finance news

Andy Spears
2 min readJun 26


Photo by Wolfgang Hasselmann on Unsplash

The consumer finance marketplace can be full of traps and risks. And then, there are the places where there aren’t even banks, which creates a whole different set of challenges.

Here’s more on the challenges of living in a banking desert — a problem that impacts many in the rural South:

“While Southern rural consumers apply for mortgages at the same rate as consumers nationwide (19 per 1,000 residents), they are much more likely to have their applications denied (27% of mortgage applications are denied in the rural South compared to 11% nationally). Additionally, rural Southerners who obtain credit tend to pay higher interest rates on average, 3.51% compared to 3.13% nationally.”

Payment apps can be convenient tools for moving money and managing finances — but they are also susceptible to scams at an alarming rate.

Here’s more on ways scammer prey on consumers — specifically military servicemembers and their families:

In 2022, servicemembers submitted more than 1,100 complaints on digital payment apps, one of the fastest-growing complaint types submitted to the CFPB. Many of the reported issues and complaints about digital payment apps relate to frauds and scams, suggesting it is a rapidly growing financial threat to military families.

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Andy Spears

Writer and policy advocate living in Nashville, TN —Public Policy Ph.D. — writes on education policy, consumer affairs, and more . . .