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Accessible Financial Services Incubator - Call for Credit Unions

We're pleased to issue a call for credit unions to test products in our Accessible Financial Services Incubator. The incubator will contribute significantly to creating a vibrant financial marketplace that offers products beneficial to both underbanked consumers and mainstream financial institutions.

For your credit union to be considered for inclusion in testing incubator-developed products, submit the application below by October 1, 2013.

Watch a webinar recording detailing the incubator project and answering frequently asked questions about it above or download the slides here.

PROBLEM TO BE SOLVED. One in five households, or 24 million American homes, are underbanked and lack access to affordable financial services. Mainstream financial institutions consistently fail to improve access for these vulnerable persons to affordable credit and other essential financial products. Consequently, the alternative financial services sector’s providers have ample opportunity to exploit underbanked individuals.

THE SOLUTION. Filene has partnered with the Ford Foundation to create the incubator to identify, test, and scale “good” product innovations for the benefit of underbanked households. US credit unions will be the proving ground for these products with the goal of illustrating product effectiveness for adoption by large, mainstream financial institutions in 24-36 months.

CALL FOR CREDIT UNIONS. Filene will select a group of credit unions to pilot test products refined in the incubator. To participate, a credit union must:

  1. Demonstrate the ability to incorporate emerging products into its operations and systematically pilot their features over a period of 18 months.
  2. Offer the product on a pilot basis to at least 200 of your members
  3. Document pilot-test results in accordance with the research protocol and guidelines.
  4. Provide insightful commentary on the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT)—along with recommendations at the granular, operational level—around pilot products.

Filene will select a group of credit unions to test products over an 18-month period to commence in November 2013. Filene will work in close collaboration with the credit unions and provide significant project management resources to lead field-testing and product assessment.

Questions? Contact me at 608.661.3743 or

Categorized: 'Updates'

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