Finance and Assets

Technology for an Inclusive Economy

October 31, 2018  • Financial Security Program & Ben White

In the post-recession era of credit company breaches and blockchain mania, technology is often seen as double-edged sword in the financial services world.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh

On a sunny Wednesday morning at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh spoke passionately about the positive impact financial technology can have on building economically inclusive communities. “It’s all about access,” Walsh remarked, “bridging gaps, making sure everyone can participate in the thriving economy; harnessing the spirit of innovation & directing it towards the public good.”

With those principles in mind, the Aspen Institute Financial Security Program (FSP) partnered with Federal Reserve Bank of Boston CFO and 2018 Finance Leaders Fellow Aparna Ramesh to build an event that laid out a comprehensive vision for how consumer research, technological and product innovation, and regulatory collaboration can transform the financial services industry to better serve the 70% of Americans facing everyday financial challenges. Working with several parts of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Aspen leveraged its deep insights into income volatility, consumer debt, and FinTech product development to construct a series of panels that guided an audience of regulators, bankers, and technologists towards a future in which “regulatory innovation” is no longer an oxymoron.

Federal Reserve Board of Governor Lael Brainard

Federal Reserve Bank of Boston CFO and 2018 Finance Leaders Fellow Aparna Ramesh     

Federal Reserve Board of Governor Lael Brainard closed the conference saying, “Together, we are developing a more holistic understanding of the financial needs of underserved households and small businesses. We are seeing the development of powerful new technologies. There is reason to hope these new technologies will be combined in ways that move the needle on financial inclusion.”

For a full recap of the FinTech, Financial Inclusion – and the Potential to Transform Financial Services conference, visit


Can #FinTech close the gap between the “underbanked,” “unbanked” and the financial services they need? Experts look for answers at the #FinTech4Inclusion conference, hosted by @BostonFed & @AspenFSP

1 in 3 workers in New England earn less than $15/hr. The majority of those workers are women, it’s disproportionately Black and Latino, and most are the primary wage earner in their family. Prabal Chakrabarti of the @BostonFed #FinTech4Inclusion

Governor Lael Brainard, @federalreserve “Achieving financial inclusion requires a holistic understanding of the challenges of undeserved groups and developing full stack solutions to serve them” #FinTech4Inclusion #Fintech @AspenFSP @BostonFed

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