Market Overview

Visa Aims to Strengthen Minority Household Access to Financial Products and Services


Incubator Program worked with 40 Financial Institutions to reach
18,000 underbanked households

A collaboration between Visa Inc. (NYSE:V), Filene Research Institute
and the Ford Foundation aimed at strengthening access to financial
services reached 18,000 underbanked households over the past 18 months.

The effort, called the "Reaching Minority Households Incubator" program,
worked with 40 credit unions across the U.S. and Canada to test
financial products and services designed to address the needs of
minority communities.

During the 18-month testing period, the incubator program issued more
than 58,000 loans totaling more than $80 million.

The incubator program focused on solving specific challenges facing
minority households. Products tested included immigrant lending, small
business lending, auto refinance and payday loan alternatives. In the
U.S., an estimated 51 million people are underbanked, including nearly
50 percent of African-American and Hispanic households, according to the
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

"Meeting the needs of financially vulnerable populations and pursuing
financial stability do not have to be mutually exclusive pursuits," said
George Hofheimer, chief knowledge officer at Filene Research Institute.
"Financial institutions are at the front lines of changing the disparity
in access to basic financial services for African-American and Hispanic
households. Providing products like those tested in the incubator
program can be a win-win-win for the customer, financial institution and

Visa contributed $1.2 million to the incubator program to identify
industry best practices and programs that effectively serve minority
customers and then scale those successful programs in relevant
communities. Visa also helped guide the program design, recruit testing
institutions and promote lessons learned across its network of partners.

A report
released today reveals the outcomes of the Reaching Minority Households
Incubator. The report assessed the scalability, sustainability and
customer impact for each product, including the specific impact for
minority households. About 96 percent of minority respondents indicated
they would use the products in the incubator again, and about 94 percent
recommended the products to family and friends, the report indicated.

"As one of the world's largest payment networks, Visa has long been
committed to bringing greater financial inclusion to people around the
world. We saw a real opportunity to work with our bank and credit union
partners right here in the U.S. to make a positive impact in minority
communities," said Bill Sheedy, executive vice president of corporate
strategy, M&A, and government relations at Visa Inc. "The Reaching
Minority Households Incubator showed us that with the right focus and
product mix, financial institutions can effectively reach underbanked
minorities and do so sustainably."

About Visa Inc.

Visa Inc. (NYSE:V) is the world's leader in digital payments. Our
mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, reliable
and secure payment network - enabling individuals, businesses and
economies to thrive. Our advanced global processing network, VisaNet,
provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable
of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. The
company's relentless focus on innovation is a catalyst for the rapid
growth of connected commerce on any device, and a driving force behind
the dream of a cashless future for everyone, everywhere. As the world
moves from analog to digital, Visa is applying our brand, products,
people, network and scale to reshape the future of commerce. For more
information, visit About
, and @VisaNews.

View Comments and Join the Discussion!