As overused as the word "innovation" may be, it's still an important concept to the financial services industry, where nimble newcomers can easily crop up and steal market share with the clever use of new technology and new communication outlets such as Twitter and Facebook.

The innovators in this list from our sister publication, Bank Technology News, may not be the next Mark Zuckerberg or Steve Jobs. With a few exceptions, they're bankers and financial services executives who are adding new elements, such as crowdsourcing, mobile text alerts and context-aware computing, to more traditional financial services. But they're enhancing their offerings in a way that provides much-needed convenience, simplicity, debt assistance and faster access to credit.

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