Better Banking
Lisa Servon explains how working in a check-cashing facility in the Bronx informed her efforts to improve financial services for poor Americans. "Poor people know best what they need. It is not the policy makers and the researchers." 

Spent: Looking For Change

Life in the Cash Economy for "Underbanked" Americans
Nearly 20% of low income US households are "underbanked," according to the FDIC. But is providing access to traditional, mainstream financial services the best solution for everyone? A professor does double duty as a New York City check casher and discovers that banks might not be the best choice for everyone. 

To Bank or Not to Bank: Perspectives from a Professor/Check Casher 
Lisa Servon, professor and former dean at the Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy at The New School, shares her perspective on the financial lives of the urban poor while working as a teller at a check casher/payday lender in New York and California.