In this episode of The Digital Banking Podcast, host Josh DeTar welcomed Ashish Garg, the founder and CEO of Eltropy. They talked about the importance of community financial institutions in underserved communities, how community FIs can find their niche, and why technology is a powerful ally for financial institutions.
⚡ There are many underbanked people in the U.S. One of the most significant challenges that community FIs face is a lack of consumer awareness and access. In the U.S., there are a lot of underserved communities waiting to get access to credit. “The biggest challenge is awareness, number one, and challenge number two is access,” said Garg. “First of all, we need to make more people aware that there are more options out there. Wells Fargo and Bank of America are not the only options, and this is where I think a lot of the work community financial institutions do in communities is very relevant.”
⚡ Picking a niche is the best way to build awareness for your institution. How can your institution raise awareness? Garg suggest starting small but thinking big. “Start with a niche,” he said. “Start with a niche, fully serve that niche, and that’s how I think we solve that awareness.”
⚡ It takes more than great technology. “Everybody, I think, will have access to cutting-edge technology, and that’ll become an equalizer,” explained Garg. “It’s not just about having the weapons or the tools; it’s about being able to use them. And I think what that requires is more open-mindedness, just changing with the times, and understanding. First of all, accepting that this game is becoming more and more of a technology game and then changing with the times.”