Now approaching its eighth year, the Underbanked Financial Services Forum serves as an occasion for hundreds of bank and credit union executives, technology entrepreneurs, retailers, investors, regulators, nonprofit providers, and consumer advocates to discuss market opportunities in serving the financially underserved and to advance innovative efforts already underway. Presented by the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) and SourceMedia, the publisher of American Banker, the Forum features provocative speakers, stellar panels, and the opportunity to network with a multitude of players who are focused on innovative, high-quality financial products and services. Year after year, the Forum serves as a showcase of such innovations and demonstrates the successes and challenges financial services providers experience in being a force for good in people’s lives.
A lot has happened in the financial industry in the last eight years, including a crisis that called into question the future role of financial services providers of all shapes and sizes. Post-crisis, the Forum served as an important retreat for participants to reflect on the state of the industry and the lessons learned. At more recent Forums, a palpable optimism has permeated the event as attendees once again look ahead to map the continuing development of the underbanked marketplace and all of the opportunities it represents.
Past Forums have featured such innovators as Jack Dorsey, the co-founder of Twitter and creator of Square, which has revolutionized the payments industry by giving individuals and small businesses the ability to accept credit, debit or prepaid card payments through a small device that fits into the headphone jack of most mobile phones. Other keynote speakers from past conferences include Safaricom Limited CEO Michael Joseph, Chris McWilton, President of U.S. Markets for MasterCard Worldwide, Deborah Hopkins, Chairman of Venture Capital Initiatives and Chief Innovation Officer of Citigroup Inc., and David Silberman, acting Associate Director, Research, Markets and Regulations, at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
In 2011, CFSI launched its Compass Principles initiative at the Forum. These aspirational guidelines are meant to define how providers can work to create financial services that are safe and actively contribute to improving people’s lives. At the 2012 Forum, participants had the opportunity to witness the Principles come to life as five companies made public commitments to aspects of the four Principles: Embrace Inclusion; Build Trust; Promote Success; Create
Opportunity. The past two years at the Forum have also featured the Core Underbanked Innovators Challenge, sponsored by Core Innovation Capital, a strategic partner of CFSI that invests in early-growth stage financial technology companies committed to serving low- and moderate-income consumers. Participants in the challenge have the chance to win $10,000, as well as recognition from and exposure to the financial services industry.
We look forward to hosting the 8th Annual Underbanked Financial Services Forum at the Hotel Intercontinental Miami, June 5-7, 2013, and hope you can join us for what promises to be another engaging and inspiring event!The Underbanked Financial Services Forum is the only event focused squarely on bringing together bank and credit union executives, technology entrepreneurs, retailers, investors, nonprofit providers, consumer advocates, and federal and state policymakers for critical learning and dialogue around the needs of financially underserved consumers.
Want to know more? Click here to see a Highlights paper from the 2012 Forum!