The European Commission has been urged to table legislation by early next year giving people the legal right to own a bank account.
MEPs at the European Parliament said about 10% of EU citizens currently don't have a bank account, including homeless people, ex-pat workers, people on very low incomes or people with no credit record.
In Ireland, it's estimated that up to 100,000 people have no banking facilities, exposing them to what Fine Gael MEP Gay Mitchell described as "financial exclusion".
Speaking from Strasbourg, Mr Mitchell said the levels of financial exclusion are higher in Ireland than in many other EU countries, due to the fact that we do not have a long history of banks catering for low income customers.
"Credit unions have traditionally played an important role in providing saving and credit services to low income earners, however this does not include electronic banking services," said Mr Mitchell.
"In this day and age, where a bank account is needed for the most basic thinks such as renting accommodation, using internet services or booking tickets, it is not acceptable that so many people still cannot access basic payment accounts," added the Fine Gael MEP.