FDIC Announces Tech Competition to Reach Unbanked

The FDIC announced a competition today for companies to explore new technologies for banks to meet the needs of unbanked individuals. The “tech sprint” asks participants to identify better tools to help banks get unbanked households into the banking system and keep them banked. The FDIC is inviting banks, nonprofit organizations, academic institutions and private sector companies to participate.

Organizations will have two weeks to submit applications requesting participation, after a review of submissions, the FDIC will invite a select number of teams to participate. Selected teams will have three weeks to work on their proposed solution and then the FDIC will host a demo day, inviting teams to make short presentations to a panel of experts who will evaluate their submission. Questions about the tech sprint can be sent to Innovation@FDIC.gov.

According to the FDIC, approximately 7.1 million U.S. households remain completely unbanked. ABA has urged its member banks to actively promote financial inclusion, including through offering Bank On certified accounts. There are 92 financial institutions with more than 32,500 branches nationwide offering Bank On certified accounts, which offer features including low costs, online bill pay capabilities, no overdraft fees and certain transaction capabilities.

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