Trends & Research

Trends & Research

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Published on Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Tech Sprint: Are You In?

Recently, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) published How America Banks, their agency's latest survey of household use of banking and financial services.

Among the findings: Although almost 95 percent of U.S. households had a bank or credit union account, that means still more than five percent-approximately seven million households-were unbanked. And Black, Hispanic, American Indian, or Alaska Native households were significantly more likely to be unbanked.

This is still a concern, which is why the FDIC has issued a call for innovation.

On June 16, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) announced it would launch a "tech sprint." The sprint-a period of 2-3 weeks-is designed to explore new strategies and technologies to increase the capacity of banks to meet the needs of the unbanked. The FDIC's tech lab FDITECH, is the group within the FDIC managing the tech sprint.

The tech sprint asks a single question: "Which data, tools, and other resources could help community banks meet the needs of the unbanked population in a cost-effective manner, and how might the impact of this work be measured?"

The sprint's goal is to bring together groups of all kinds-including banks, non-profit organizations, academic institutions, private sector companies, and members of the public-and challenge them to develop ideas to address specific concerns.

The FDIC requests that if you're interested, you form into teams beforehand; they say typically teams include a core group of about five to seven people who possess a diverse set of skill sets, which might include design, technology, project management, financial services, financial education, and financial inclusion

Want to get involved? FDITECH plans to open registration for the tech sprint in early July via the sprint's website. The FDIC will review all submissions and invite a select number of teams to participate in a kickoff meeting with the FDIC and other selected teams. They'll then work on their ideas for several weeks and return for a "demonstration day" with a panel of experts. All submissions will be publicized, and winners will be chosen in several categories.

The FDIC is not offering monetary prizes associated with this Tech Sprint.

To learn more, visit Breaking Down Barriers: Reaching the Last Mile of Unbanked U.S. Households and if you have questions about the sprint, email



Joe Casali, AAP, NCP


AUTHOR: Joe Casali, AAP, NCP
Executive Vice President

As the EVP of Payments Innovation for NEACH, Joe focuses on exploring innovative solutions and technologies that will help position members for success, both now and in the future. Connect with Joe to read more of his blogs, articles, and posts.

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