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EMERGE: The Forum on Consumer Financial Services Innovation: Join CFSI June 4-6 in Los Angeles

Since 2006, the Center for Financial Services Innovation and American Banker have hosted hundreds of leading players from throughout the financial services industry at their annual forum to network, generate new ideas, and advance innovations in the financially underserved market.

This year’s conference, EMERGE: The Forum on Consumer Financial Services Innovation, will be held June 4-6 in Los Angeles, and it reflects a growing understanding that the financially underserved market has evolved. A few examples of what the conference will feature:

“Underbanked” no more: the EMERGE conference aims to replace the term “underbanked” with a renewed focus on improving consumers’ financial health. Though the term helped raise awareness of the large, diverse segment of American consumers who are financially underserved, it has outlived its usefulness because it implies that banking is the sole solution, when the reality is more complex. While banks still play an important role in the financial industry, consumers are less attached to traditional bank accounts than they once were, due to technological innovations and the rise of alternative financial products. EMERGE hopes to advance the industry’s efforts to develop new terms and a deeper understanding of underserved consumers’ complex needs and unique challenges.

The financially underserved have gone mainstream: In spite of growth in the economy, many demographics, including younger and middle-income consumers, are not experiencing improved financial situations. The number and needs of financially underserved consumers have reached the point that their impact on the industry must be taken into account – a fact that will be highlighted at the conference.

New trends in this newly mainstream market: The forum will host talks and workshops that address the complexities of financially underserved consumers, providing attendees with an opportunity to deepen their knowledge of the market and, in the case of providers, to serve these consumers profitably.

A gathering of the leading players in the industry: The conference will include bank and credit union executives, federal and state policymakers, technology entrepreneurs, nonprofit providers, consumer advocates, retailers and investors. It has a long history of connecting attendees, leading to new business relationships and greater understanding of the most innovative trends in financial services, products and technologies. It will offer extensive opportunities to network with the stars of the industry through high-energy sessions and collaboration opportunities, including a speed networking event. It will also feature unique awareness-building opportunities, like a pre-conference session called the Financial Underserved Field Experience. This interactive workshop will familiarize a group of attendees with consumers’ daily decisions and tradeoffs through a series of real-time financial transactions and inquiries at financial service providers around Los Angeles. Throughout the conference, sessions and speakers will explore specific consumer behaviors involving spending, borrowing, saving and planning.

Cutting edge topics: The conference will explore innovative strategies and products, with insights from both entrepreneurs and established players who are transforming the way the industry responds to consumer need. Topics will range from alternative data and next-gen prepaid products, to employer-based lending and Bitcoin, with sessions that provide actionable guidance and tools for making use of these new technologies and approaches.

Registration is still open for the event, and you can find more information here. NextBillion Financial Innovation will be serving as a media partner at the conference, so look for more coverage in the days ahead.

financial inclusion