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 • Fully Fair Lending: NFHA CEO Lisa Rice

Discrimination in the credit markets is a persistent problem. Lisa Rice, head of the National Fair Housing Alliance, says we can solve it if we understand the role of structured, hidden bias, and use new technology to root it out.

PODCAST • How Delicia Reynolds Hand Works to Empower Fintech Consumers

Hand, the Director of Financial Fairness Advocacy at Consumer Reports, leads the magazine’s initiative to evaluate new fintech products to give customers greater awareness of the rapidly changing financial services market. The ratings system could be a game-changer for pricing and product development.

PODCAST • How Minority-Backed Institutions Can Stay Competitive in Digital Age

In this special episode, Jo Ann speaks with three innovators working to help Minority Depository Institutions modernize their technology to continue serving communities of color.

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 • Jason Cave on FHFA’s Goal to Modernize Mortgage Process With New Tech

Following the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Velocity TechSprint, the official leading the agency’s conservatorship and fintech strategies joins Jo Ann to discuss all the ways the mortgage market is ripe for a technology overhaul.

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.

PODCAST • Demystifying DeFi and Web3 with Tomicah Tillemann

Tillemann, Chief Policy Officer of Haun Ventures, shares his views about the crypto winter and how the confluence of blockchain, open source and digital tokens could solve stubborn problems.

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.

NEWS • AIR and Cambridge SupTech Lab Announce Virtual Hackathon Exploring Consumer Protection Innovations

The joint event will identify how financial supervisors can optimize complaint data received through chatbots and other channels to effectively protect and empower consumers.

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.

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