Twenty-eight U.S. and Canadian credit unions have committed to participate in an 18-month incubator to test 5 programs designed to meet the needs of underbanked minority households.
The incubator initiative, Reaching Minority Households, created by Filene Research Institute in collaboration with Visa and the Ford Foundation, will test solutions designed to improve the financial lives of minority families. Each participating credit union will test at least 1 financial product; spots are still available with a sign-up deadline of Sept. 15.
While minorities comprise 30% of all U.S. households, they hold only 13.4% of deposits, 7.5% of retirement investments and 10% of total wealth in the country.
“Our research has shown that efforts to serve minorities aren’t simply altruistic—they benefit both members and the credit union overall,” said Andrew Downin, Filene managing director, innovation. “Consumers now have access to affordable financial services and can take critical steps to create a more stable financial future for themselves and their families, and the credit union taps into a new population with an increasing ability to access financial services.”
The credit unions participating in the incubator will test at least 1 financial product chosen based on potential scalability and impact, among other factors. The products include:
Filene will work closely with each credit union to provide implementation expertise and resources throughout the pilot.
Credit unions interested in participating in the pilot can complete the request form.