American Express Announces New Initiatives to Improve Financial Inclusion in the U.S.

American Express, has announced several new technology initiatives to promote financial inclusion in the U.S. These include a new program from American Express Ventures to fund startups working toward financial inclusion, the establishment of a Financial Innovation Lab, and sponsorship of a documentary. The documentary will spotlight how technology and new thinking can begin to address the issues facing nearly 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financial services, yet tens of millions of Americans are relying on check cashers, pawn shops, money orders, and other outdated ways to manage and move their money,” said Dan Schulman, group president, Enterprise Growth, American Express. “It’s time for change. It’s not a silver bullet, but technology should be used to close the gap, not widen it. We want to help modernize traditional banking and advance the next generation of products. 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.”

New documentary produced in partnership with award-winning filmmaker Davis Guggenheim

American Express showcased the trailer for Spent: Looking for Change at an intimate event at SXSW. The film, set to premiere this summer, follows a handful of hopeful Americans as they navigate their way through an antiquated financial system that can inhibit, rather than help, people’s ability to access, move and manage money as well as save for the future. The film will illustrate the seriousness of this growing problem, but also explore the many solutions emerging through technology, innovation and education.

“Not having a bank account makes it incredibly difficult to manage your day to day finances, it often means you can’t establish credit, and therefore you can’t buy a home, finance a car, or take out a student loan,” said Davis Guggenheim, executive creative director and filmmaker behind An Inconvenient Truth and Waiting for Superman. “Multiply that by tens of millions of people and you can start to see how it’s possible that entire communities in the U.S. are systemically excluded from economic freedom that most of us take for granted. My hope is this film will shed light on this important issue and inspire everyone to work towards finding better solutions at a time when new technologies are opening up new possibilities to help fix this issue.”

To view the trailer visit: www.spentmovie.com.

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