Advisor and Research Fellow, Consumer Finance Institute
Areas of Expertise
As an advisor and research fellow, Tom Akana focuses on consumer decision-making, payment cards, and the impact of technology and regulation on consumer payment habits. He spent the early part of his career working in the credit card industry, analyzing and attempting to predict customer behavior. Significant changes in the regulatory environment led to significant shifts in how U.S. banks conducted their lending business, and he saw how consumers altered their behavior on credit cards. In the Consumer Finance Institute, Tom expands the scope of that work to the broader payments and consumer lending landscape, examining how established tools interact with new ideas to influence consumer behavior.
Tom joined the Reserve Bank in 2018. He released a discussion paper in 2018. In 2020, he launched and managed the CFI COVID-19 Survey of Consumers to track the impacts of the pandemic on employment, income, and spending habits.
Tom has a bachelor’s degree in American studies and psychology from Georgetown University.