In a world where the monetary situations of hard-working Americans can change with little to no warning - as the financial crisis of 2008 showed us, en masse - it's only common sense to take advantage of any and all resources available to get a better handle on one's financial well-being.
At PRBC, we work hard to serve as one of those resources, and we'd like to shed some light on an organization that's helped identify the need to aid the financially underserved with innovations including alternative credit data - the Center for Financial Services Innovation.
"CFSI specializes in research and advocacy on behalf of the underbanked and unbanked."
The lowdown on CFSI
CFSI was founded in 2004 with the express goal of advocating for Americans who had fallen through the cracks of the country's financial system. The not-for-profit organization conducted the first study to identify the underbanked, unbanked and otherwise credit invisible residents of the U.S.
The Financially Underserved Market Size Study is perhaps the best-known annual research initiative CFSI undertakes. In its 2017 iteration, the study determined that despite lacking credit cards, advanced banking services or in some cases banking accounts altogether, financially underserved Americans spent $1.94 trillion on various financial products between 2015 and 2016. Facts like this help eradicate misconceptions regarding the viability of underbanked consumers as a customer demographic for lenders.
The EMERGE event
CFSI has also distinguished itself by establishing the annual EMERGE conference, which for its 2018 edition will take place June 6-8 in Los Angeles. This convention brings together financial professionals and experts from all over the country, and of late has particularly emphasized guest speakers with involvement in the fintech space. Prominent topics for the upcoming event will include consumer protections, increased overall financial cybersecurity and the continued emergence of alternative credit scoring.