I believe 2013 will be remembered as the year that the underbanked market went mainstream. After years on the sidelines, banks of all sizes are launching strategies and product suites aimed at the lower mass market. They will have to work quickly, though, to overcome the first-mover advantage of smaller but nimbler technology innovators, who are also benefitting from an infusion of venture capital and increased M&A activity.
Greater competition is a boon to all consumers, especially to the 25% of Americans whose financial services needs arent adequately met today. The combination of competition and regulation is spawning a new generation of consumer-centric products and services that are simple, intuitive and transparent. Information and tools to help consumers better manage their money are increasingly being baked into financial products, providing consumers with a more holistic set of solutions.
At the 8th Annual Underbanked Financial Services Forum,June 5-7 inMiami, we will explore these Fresh Ideas for an Emerging Market. All players—banks and credit unions, payment firms and technology innovators, non-profit organizations and researchers—will be represented on stage. We also will spotlight the next generation of innovators and ideas during an expanded version of the popular Core Innovators Mega Challenge.
The conference starts earlier in the day this year to make room for all of the innovation were seeing in the market. The consumer is at the heart of the market, and the conference tracks are organized around their financial needs—borrow, spend, and save & plan—plus a wildcard track for emerging topics. Watch for a refreshed format, too, as the conference will feature case studies and roundtable discussions based on your real-time vote on trending topics.
I hope you will meet us in Miami for this can't-miss event and join the conversation at #freshideas13.
Jennifer Tescher President & CEO Center for Financial Services Innovation