FDIC picks 8 teams in tech sprint on banking the unbanked

Eight teams with members from banking, philanthropy, and other fields will participate in a “tech sprint” to explore how community banks can meet the needs of the unbanked and will present their findings in September, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) said Thursday.

The FDIC’s tech lab, FDITECH, on July 6 launched “Breaking Down Barriers: Reaching the Last Mile of the Unbanked,” which the agency describes as a first-of-its-kind tech sprint to identify better resources and tools to help banks bring unbanked consumers into the banking system and to sustain those banking relationships over time.

The agency said FDITECH selected the following organizations for the sprint:

  • Community Connect/eBus, which includes the Community College Foundation;
  • Discover Wellthi, including Discover Bank and Wellthi;
  • FinCluiDo, including Global Atlantic Partners, GCS Dominicana, and Incedo;
  • FIS & Long Game, including FIS, Long Game, and Citizens Trust;
  • Goalsetter, including the organization of the same name;
  • iLluMInate, including the Milken Institute, Sunrise Banks, and the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA);
  • NAAC-Talino Finance, including the National Asian American Coalition and Talino Venture Labs; and
  • Onramp, including Amazon Web Services, Narmi, and Galileo

The FDIC said its 2019 survey report, “How America Banks Report,” showed that Black, Hispanic, American Indian and Alaska Native households remain significantly more likely to be unbanked. Referring to the problem of reaching the “last mile” of the unbanked, the agency said this tech sprint challenges participants to help identify which data, tools, and other resources could help community banks meet the needs of the unbanked in a cost-effective manner; and how the impact of this work might be measured.

It said FDITECH will host a ‘Demo Day’ next month and invite the teams to make short presentations to a panel of judges who will evaluate their submissions for creativity, effectiveness/impact, and market readiness.

FDITECH Selects Eight Teams in Tech Sprint to Reach the Unbanked