|[September 12, 2005]
The Center for Financial Services Innovation Announces 2005 Grant Awards; Pioneering Projects Range Across Financial Services Spectrum
CHICAGO --(Business Wire)-- Sept. 12, 2005 -- The Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) today announced its nonprofit grant recipients for 2005. They are:
-- Appleseed Foundation, which will research the transparency of foreign exchange rate markup charged for remittances and then launch a fair exchange rate branding campaign. These markups are often poorly disclosed and can represent as much as 90% of total fees.
-- The Center for Community Change will select and deploy a stored-value card solution pilot to unbanked workers across the nation, utilizing alliance partners and three national networks of centers serving low-income workers.
-- Central Vermont Community Action Council and Association for Enterprise Opportunity will research and implement a method to integrate microlending data into the established credit system, enabling low-income entrepreneurs to build and improve their credit scores.
-- The Urban Insurance Partners Institute has accepted a challenge grant to apply new analytical tools to non-traditional insurance data and prototype improved urban underwriting practices.
In conjunction with the awards, the Center is also releasing a white paper, authored by Arjan Schutte, its Associate Director, who oversees the investment and grant program. Entitled, "Innovation Trends in Nonprofit Financial Services to the Underbanked," it discusses current trends in the sector and the kinds of strategies and models that lead to success. The paper is available on CFSI's web site at http://www.cfsinnovation.com/managed_documents/granttrends05.pdf.
John Gould, formerly Director of Bank Cards for Tower Group, was inspired by his experience on the CFSI selection committee. "I think this is the most exciting space I have seen in 25 years in the industry. All the applicants offered creative solutions; the challenge was to pick only four. CFSI's selection process was by far the most precise and objective approach I have ever encountered. I felt privileged to participate in what I believe will be a significant development in expanding banking services to underbanked Americans," said Gould, now a Partner of Prepaid Advisory.
Janice Fine, Senior Fellow for Policy and Organizing at the Center for Community Change, said, "We are grateful to CFSI for its willingness to invest early in our vision, and are excited, not just about receiving CFSI's financial support, which is critical, but also access to CFSI's business expertise, which will be essential to the success of our project."
CFSI's affiliated selection process seeking to invest in promising for-profit companies is still accepting applications, and will announce investment awards as they are chosen. For more information on the CFSI's investment and grant program, please visit http://www.cfsinnovation.com/investment.php. CFSI's grant program is supported by the Ford Foundation.
For information on the recipient organizations, go to: www.appleseeds.net (Appleseed); http://www.communitychange.org (The Center for Community Change); http://www.cvcac.org (Central Vermont Community Action Council); www.microenterpriseworks.org; (Association for Enterprise Opportunity); and www.uipi.org (The Urban Insurance Partners Institute).
The Center for Financial Services Innovation, an initiative of ShoreBank Advisory Services, was founded in 2004 with support from The Ford Foundation. Its mission is to facilitate efforts to offer underbanked consumers across the economic, geographic and cultural spectrum asset-building opportunities that create value for both customers and companies. It provides funding and resources, enables partnerships, and develops and distributes authoritative information on how to respond to the needs of the underbanked both profitably and responsibly. CFSI works with banks, credit unions, technology vendors, alternative service providers, consumer advocates, and policy makers to forge pioneering relationships, products and strategies that will transform industry practice and the lives of underbanked consumers. For more on CFSI, go to www.cfsinnovation.com.
[ Back To TMCnet.com's Homepage ]