By Lauren Keyson and Bárbara Gesteira
Asad Ramzanali, is the FS Manager at the Center for Financial Services Innovation, a company that looks to build a more robust financial services marketplace. Give him a FinTech problem, and he’ll solve it!
Lauren Keyson:- What does the Center for Financial Services Innovation mean and what do you do for them?
Asad Ramzanali:- The Center for Financial Services Innovation, CFSI, is a non-profit that leads a network of financial services providers, looking to solve the issues that Americans struggle with, specifically around financial health. So the question is “how do we improve financial health?” working with the financial service providers that are on that network.
LK:- Give me a problem and how you solved it.
AR:- We do four buckets of work. We do original research on the issues of the segment, we do consulting with the organizations of all sizes around “how do you think about this market”, anything about this consumer segment. We convene a network, which means we have events both open door and closed door, where we bring together service for others to talk about best practices, what is happening, and what I see as our innovation strategy, how do we directly see the innovation in this face.
LK:- Give me an exact example, someone you can name and how you solved it.
AR:- So, we look at improving consumer financial help as an indirect thing that we do, so we work with service providers, but a lot of the consulting gigs and staff I can’t talk about publicly. One project I can tell to you about is that, we just launched a $30M partnership with JPMorgan Chase, a five-year partnership in which we will invest and support FinTech startups and non-profits that are working on these issues. The way we see it is as a series of competitions, let’s see who is out there doing something good and let’s fund them. More importantly, we give them access to the non-financial support that we built up over time.
LK:- Can you give me an example of helping an underbanked person or company that you fixed or helped?
AR:- We have opened an application, we are not talking about specific companies, but I can tell you of a number of interesting innovations that are going on, I think there is a lot going on in the space in how to encourage savings, there is a lot of innovation right now in the small dollar credit, there is a general pain around “Bills are due today, but I don’t get paid till next Friday”. Solving that gap, there are a number of solutions to that right now, but there are a number of innovations that are bringing to bear really interesting approaches to that question.
LK:- So what do you think about FinTech in general?
AR:- I think these kinds community building events are fantastic. FinTech is a sub-industry that requires some nurturing because it is a little different and it has it’s own needs, so, I think this kind of thing is fantastic.