We’re excited to share a special episode in partnership with our colleagues in the San Francisco Fed’s Community Development group. Our teams recently collaborated on a special issue of the Community Development Innovation Review in partnership with the Aspen Institute’s Financial Security program, which examined the potential ways financial technology can promote racial equity in the financial system. Today’s episode is a corollary to our recently concluded Financial Inclusion & Beyond series where we explored what we can learn from efforts around the world to improve financial inclusion and wellbeing.

The event included a fireside chat with San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly and Ida Rademacher, Executive Director of the Aspen Institute’s Financial Security Program, and a panel discussion with several journal contributors moderated by Rocio Sanchez-Moyano, a senior researcher in the Community Development  group.

Some take-aways from the live event include:

  • The current financial system does not serve everyone equally. The inability to access and use financial services impedes people’s full participation in the economy. Communities of color and low-income communities are disproportionately left out of the financial system. Fintech provides an opportunity to reach those excluded by the financial system.
  • Fintech shows promise in furthering financial inclusion. Improvements in transaction processing, digital identity, and use of real-time and alternative data for risk assessment could offer significant improvements to individuals currently left out of the financial system.
  • Fintech solutions designed based on a nuanced understanding of lived experiences of those they serve have greater impact. Many consumers come up with work-arounds or adaptations to work with existing services that do not meet their needs. Efforts to increase diversity in the fintech ecosystem (from founders to staff, venture capital, and regulators) and greater prioritization of learning from the experiences and challenges that users from low-income communities and communities of color face can enable the creation of higher impact fintech solutions.

Related Content

Community Development Innovation Review: Fintech, Racial Equity, and an Inclusive Financial System

Aspen Institute Financial Security Program

The views expressed are not necessarily those of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco or of the Federal Reserve System.

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