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Mobile technology offers a significant and growing market opportunity for financial services companies to meet the small-dollar credit needs of low-income consumers, UNC Center for Community Capital researcher Kim Manturuk told industry leaders at a national conference June 13.

“For many underbanked households, the smartphone is the only computer in the home so mobile, rather than online, banking will be the way to deliver services to these consumers,” Manturuk said.

Manturuk spoke on “Emerging Opportunities for Innovation in Small-Dollar Credit” during the pre-conference workshop, “Pre-Conference Workshop: “Findings from the Field – Consumers and Small Dollar Credit” at CFSI’s Seventh Annual Underbanked Financial Services Forum in San Francisco.

She spoke on a range of significant findings uncovered by CFSI’s groundbreaking research on small-dollar credit, presented at the conference. The CFSI study examined credit options, such as payday lending, installment lending and direct deposit advances, to learn what makes a quality small-dollar credit product and what drives market opportunity for them.

“CFSI has taken an important first step in broadening our understanding of how underbanked consumers are using small-dollar credit products,” Manturuk said. “It is important to continue to conduct research on how these products are used and what impacts they have on consumers.”

CFSI’s annual forum June 13-15 convened more than 600 financial services industry executives, nonprofit and government leaders, and researchers to explore how to spur innovation in the financial services marketplace to both create value for the industry and help underserved consumers move toward financial prosperity.

Manturuk, senior research associate in financial services, leads the UNC Center for Community Capital’s consumer financial services research and policy team. It conducts research and analysis to understand what products, services and conditions promote and inhibit wealth creation and economic mobility among low-wealth families and communities.

The full text of Manturuk’s remarks is available at

The UNC Center for Community Capital is the leading center for research and policy analysis on the transformative power of capital on households and communities in the United States. Part of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the center offers data and analysis that helps policymakers, advocates and the private sector find sustainable ways to expand economic opportunity to more people more effectively. For more information, visit or call (919) 843-2140.

Topics(s): Debt & Credit, Financial Capability, Financial Inclusion, Financial Services Industry, Savings & Asset-Building
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