American Express Announces Support for Startups at SXSW
American Express announced several new initiatives at the recent South by Southwest Interactive Festival, including a plan to support the country’s startup businesses that help all Americans gain access to the mainstream financial system.
The company will also sponsor a documentary that highlights how technology can help address the issues facing almost 70 million Americans poorly served or excluded from the mainstream financial system.
“Technology is rapidly changing the face of financial services, yet tens of millions of Americans are relying on check cashers, pawn shops, money orders, and other outdated ways to manage and move their money,” said Dan Schulman, group president for Enterprise Growth at American Express. “By supporting new technology as well as the work of researchers and promising startups, I believe we can bring more people from the margins to the mainstream.”
The Financial Inclusion Initiative will invest in early-stage startups in the technology sector to improve their financial options. The program will offer a variety of perks for these startups, including the opportunity to develop new credit building models, promote savings and gain easier access to business capital.
In addition to the Financial Inclusion Initiative, American Express has announced the development of a Financial Innovation Lab. This will give researchers, counselors and technologists an opportunity to work together to improve financial inclusion for the underserved. The lab is scheduled to be launched in June, and the findings from its research will be shared with others in the industry.