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This updated analysis by Marketdata examines the controversial but growing “alternative financial services” sector — a $27 billion business comprised of loosely regulated check cashing, payday loan, money transfer and payday loan services. These outlets serve 35% of the U.S. population. Many companies are happy to accept the business of consumers with spotty credit records who have been rejected by banks--the 12 million “unbanked” households that choose not to use traditional banks.Explosive growth had taken place in the payday loan business, but they have come under heavy scrutiny. Critics say these services gouge consumers with high fees and interest rates, but they do provide more convenient hours, less red tape, easier credit, and most customers don’t seem to complain. There are 13,000 check cashing outlets, 11,000 pawn shops, 25,000 payday loan stores and 467,000+ money transfer agents competing for this business today. Many outlets/services overlap—providing multiple services at the same site. The study explores why growth at check cashers and pawn shops is meager, and the effects of the economic slowdown.This new study by Marketdata examines the nature of the business, reasons for the growth of non-bank services, immigration trends, national receipts/growth from 1999-2007, 2008 to 2013 forecasts, average store revenues, customer demographics, key industry trends, federal/state industry regulation/fee caps, self-service check cashing machines, profit margins, franchising, gold prices, global remittance trends, consumer debt levels, reasons for the industry’s past negative image, and more. Findings of research studies by: Fannie Mae, Georgetown University, FISCA, Federal Reserve Board, brokerage analysts, Natl. Check Casher’s Assn., The World Bank, INS, Natl. Pawnbroker’s Assn., U.S. Census Bureau, FDIC, and more.This study is believed to be one of the few in-depth publicly available business analyses that exists of this market. 13 in-depth company profiles (with 2005-2007 financials) are provided for: ACE Cash Express, Check Into Cash, Dollar Financial, Western Union, Moneygram, Ria Financial, Cash America, EZCORP, First Cash Financial, Advance America, Check Into Cash, CNG Financial, and QC Holdings.