FDIC initiative expands technologies for unbanked individuals, households

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Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) officials are espousing the benefits of an initiative designed to expand new technologies and techniques to bolster bank capabilities in addressing unbanked individuals and households.

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The FDIC’s tech lab, FDITECH, has launched a ‘tech sprint’ that challenges participants to identify better resources and tools to aid banks with the process of getting households into the banking system while also keeping them there.

“Community banks have deep roots in their communities but often lack access to the resources that would allow them to reach those who remain outside our banking system,” FDIC Chief Innovation Officer Sultan Meghji said. “We are challenging those who participate in our tech sprint to identify the untapped data and innovative tools that can help community banks overcome those vexing obstacles to a more inclusive banking ecosystem.”

The FDIC indicated banks, non-profit organizations, academic institutions, private sector companies, and others are invited to participate in the Breaking down Barriers: Reaching the Last Mile of Unbanked U.S. Households endeavor.

A recent FDIC survey of household use of banking and financial services determined nearly 95 percent of domestic households were banked, but more than 7 million households were unbanked – adding Black, Hispanic, American Indian, or Alaska Native households remain significantly more likely to be unbanked.

The FDIC said FDITECH would open registration for the tech sprint in a few weeks, with those interested having two weeks to submit participation applications.

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