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Living on a low income and using banks to pay bills

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This article discusses the use of automated banking facilities among people on low incomes. In doing so, it questions assumptions inherent in recent UK government policy that making full use of banking facilities to pay bills is a universally desirable norm. The article presents qualitative research evidence to explore how and why people on low incomes do and do not use banks, and automated payments in particular. Supporting the findings of previous research, the article describes how low financial resources can be a barrier to using automatic transfers, but also notes how personal choice, familiarity and routine can also influence preferences. Therefore, it is argued that a range of policy responses may be necessary to facilitate higher transactional use of bank accounts.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: February 1, 2010

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