Small banks and credit unions are the backbone of their communities, especially in America's small towns and rural areas. Similarly, specialized entities like Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs) bring targeted investment to markets starved for affordable credit and capital.

These vital enterprises face an existential threat in the digital age. They need great technology to give customers the user experience they expect, to minimize the costs of back office operations and compliance, and to modernize underwriting to enable sounder, more inclusive lending. Their competitors -- both large banks and fintechs -- have these. Small institutions usually do not, and can’t realistically attract the tech talent needed to modernize.

A host of regulatory and market factors stand in the way of modernization. AIR works with numerous partners to help community institutions digitize.

AIR is working with Minority-Owned Depository Institutions (MDIs) to identify technology solutions that will help them compete in the digital age and provide targeted solutions for underserved customers. The solutions we develop will be designed for adoption by thousands of other community banks and credit unions.


Podcast: Saving Minority Depository Institutions: Nicole Elam and Robert James

Everyone knows that America has an enormous racial wealth gap. But not enough people know that the US has a group of specially-designated financial institutions that have solutions for this problem. Jo Ann's guests today are Nicole Elam, CEO of the National Bankers Association, and Robert James II, who chairs the NBA’s board of directors and is also president of Carver Financial Corporation in Savannah, Georgia.

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Podcast: Challenger Banker: Starling Bank CEO Anne Boden

There are a lot of very rare things about Jo Ann’s guest today, Anne Boden. We did an episode with Anne in 2018, and Jo Ann wanted to talk with her again to get an update, and also to get her insights on how the world has changed since then. Spoiler: it’s changed a whole lot.

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Webinar: Community Bank Technology for the Digital Age

AIR held a webinar on helping community banks compete in the digital age, with speakers including acting Comptroller of the Currency Brian Brooks, bank CEO’s, technology leaders, and the heads of the American Bankers Association and the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA).

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PPP TechSprints

AIR co-hosted two TechSprints with the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) and the Venture Center, identifying technology solutions to help community banks quickly onboard small business customers to apply for SBA-guaranteed loans under the CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

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