The Institute for Money, Technology & Financial Inclusion (IMTFI) at the University of California, Irvine announced Wednesday (Feb. 15) that, along with Filene Research Institute, a credit union and consumer finance think tank, it has launched a research hub at UCI focused on studying how emerging technologies impact credit union business practices and clients.
“We are delighted to partner with Filene to explore how credit unions can leverage trends in mobile banking and other technological interventions,” said IMTFI Director Bill Maurer, dean of UCI’s School of Social Sciences, in a press release announcing the initiative. “The IMTFI has established itself as the premier research center on the impact of financial technology — FinTech — on people’s personal and commercial banking practices, and we look forward to helping credit unions continue to create opportunities that meet the demands of changing consumer behavior.”
According to UCI, the first report to come out of the center, which is slated for later this year, will look at the drivers of financial technology change, as well as consumer adoption. It will include recommendations to help credit union leaders make wiser decisions. The Filene Center of Excellence for Emerging Technology is led by visiting Filene research fellow Richard Swart. UCI said he has been a research scholar in the Institute for Business & Social Innovation at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business; is an adviser to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; and works with several other prominent foundations, think tanks, funds and corporations.
“Richard is a highly trusted expert on technology and innovation for governments, academics and businesses,” said Andrew Downin, managing director of research at the Filene Institute, also in the press release. “Credit union leaders will benefit from Richard’s keen insights into a variety of FinTech topics that are relevant to maintaining strong member relationships amid an environment of increasing regulation and data threats.”