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CUs participate in Underbanked Solutions Exchange
CHICAGO (11/17/11)--Credit unions and mid-sized banks met Tuesday at the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI)'s seventh Underbanked Solutions Exchange in Chicago to learn best practices in serving the underbanked.

Exchange participants put themselves in the shoes of the financially underserved consumer, cashing checks, buying and using prepaid cards, transferring money, and seeking small value loan options.

"This exercise is especially well-timed, as this is a particularly important moment for banks and credit unions to contemplate how they can maximize the value of the products they offer to all of their customers," said Karen Andres, manager and consultant, Advisory Services.  The goal of the discussion was to prompt "participants to think about ways in which their organization can contribute to a future where financial services are a force for good in people's lives."

Attendees also discussed what defines "quality" in financial services as outlined by CFSI's Compass Principles; participated in an applied behavioral economics workshop with John Balz of ideas42, and advised two credit unions--$447 million asset Centris FCU, Omaha, Neb.,  and $4 billion asset ESL FCU, Rochester, N.Y.--about their underbanked strategies.

Others participating included Kinecta FCU, Manhattan Beach, Calif.; Redstone FCU, Huntsville, Ala.; Self-Help CU, Durham, N.C., and eight banks.

CFSI is a research and consulting group specializing in financial services for underserved consumers.


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