Financial innovation could make financial services almost universally accessible, harness new kinds of data and powerful AI tools to enable more people to qualify for well-priced loans, and reduce the need for high-cost services like checking overdrafts, payday loans and check-cashing.

If not well-managed and regulated, however, new consumer financial services technology can also threaten privacy, exacerbate bias and give rise to predatory products. RegTech can equip regulators and risk managers to detect and instantly correct compliance problems like credit discrimination and deceptive marketing in both digital and traditional financial products. AIR works with consumer advocates, agencies and industry to promote innovation that advances strong consumer financial protection.

EVENT • Hot Topics in Digital Consumer Financial Protection

Is innovation good or bad for consumers? AIR partnered with Consumer Reports and Consumer Federation of America on a virtual event about consumer implications of data permissioning, cryptocurrencies and new forms of lending, among other things.

PODCAST • Activism and Algorithms: Making Lending Fairer

Lisa Rice, CEO of the National Fair Housing Alliance, is a civil rights activist. Kareem Saleh is a tech guy who founded the startup FairPlay, which uses AI analytics. They come from different worlds, but have teamed up to combat unfair lending.

REPORT • AIR CEO Touts AI’s Benefits for Regulators in Brookings Paper

The Brookings Institution published a deep dive by Jo Ann Barefoot, CEO of the Alliance for Innovative Regulation, on multiple ways government agencies can use artificial intelligence to power their innovation strategies.

PODCAST • How Daylight Aims to Remove Barriers for the LGBTQ Community

CEO Rob Curtis speaks with Jo Ann about his journey in launching the fintech startup that serves the unique banking needs of LGBTQ customers without the stigma and bias they often encounter in financial services.

PODCAST • Delicia Hand, Cleve Mesidor on Rethinking Consumer Protection Paradigm

The question of how to expand access and ensure fairness for people of color deals with finding the right balance of regulation, technology and traditional finance. Two leaders on this issue speak with Jo Ann about finding the best answers.

PODCAST • A New Model for Protecting Consumers Built on Digitized Data

Todd H. Baker and Corey Stone come on the podcast to discuss their proposal for a consumer protection paradigm focused on improving outcomes, similar to the healthcare sector.

PODCAST • FCA CEO Nikhil Rathi on How Regulators Can Be ‘Data-Driven’

Rathi heads the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority, which is heavily focused on digital transformation. He sits down with Jo Ann to discuss sandboxes, why the ‘G’ in ESG matters, and why the FCA wants to be a “data-driven regulator.”

PODCAST • Simon Taylor on How Crypto and DeFi Move Forward

The first 2023 episode is Jo Ann’s discussion with Simon Taylor, Head of Strategy at the anti-fraud tech firm Sardine. He weighs in on crypto’s “massive fraud problem,” and the pros and cons of building trust through decentralization and code.

PODCAST • How Credit Unions Cut an Innovation Path: NCUA Chair Todd Harper

Todd Harper is the first head of the National Credit Union Administration appointed after serving in the agency’s own ranks. His conversation with Jo Ann touches on the NCUA’s new innovation office, and the technology pressures and opportunities facing credit unions.

PODCAST • Machines that Read Regulations: FINRA’s Goal Could Soon Be Reality

In this episode, Jo Ann speaks with innovation leaders at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Haimera Workie and Alex Khachaturian, about a new tool to help transform financial regulation and compliance.

WHITE PAPER • Harvard Papers on Financial Inclusion

Fifty years of U.S. regulation aimed at promoting financial inclusion and consumer fairness has largely failed. In these papers, AIR CEO Jo Ann Barefoot reports on her two years as a Harvard senior fellow, arguing that new technology can lead to better results.

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