AIR: NCRC’S Van Tol On How Technology Can Change Consumer Finance

AIR, August 1, 2023, NCRC’S Van Tol On How Technology Can Change Consumer Finance

As technology has transformed financial services in recent years, I think it’s fair to say that most consumer advocacy groups have focused on its downside risks, almost to the exclusion of upside opportunity. Today, there is of course continued concern about dangers, but there is also an emerging generation of advocates who think that some of these new technologies actually have the potential to help financial consumers.

One of the most thoughtful leaders in this regard is today’s guest. He is Jesse Van Tol, President and CEO of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition.

NCRC has a venerable history. I’ve known them for decades, as they have shaped policy on issues like the Community Reinvestment Act and creating a federal requirement for tracking patterns in small business lending. Today, NCRC is one of a handful of advocacy organizations that is looking with sophistication at how technology is changing consumer finance, for both good and bad. They are reaching out to tech innovators, learning deeply, and bringing a new lens to the old, intractable challenge of getting high quality, affordable financial services to flow to lower income people and communities.

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