Today the Financial Solutions Lab (FinLab) at the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) with founding FinLab partner JPMorgan Chase & Co. officially launched its Fifth Annual Challenge (Challenge), focused exclusively on identifying employee financial health solutions that serve both employees and employers, and can cater to the needs of the diverse American workforce with a focus on low- to moderate-income (LMI) workers.
Over the course of the program, the FinLab will help augment and gather critical evidence of the role that financial health solutions play in the workplace, raising awareness for workplace financial health programs and developing best practices for the use of technology to promote financial health at work.
A recent PwC survey found that nearly half (47%) of workers report being financially stressed. Not only does this create personal challenges for employees, but it also affects their productivity. A Financial Finesse report found that employees with a low level of financial wellness can cost employers up to $198 annually in absenteeism, payroll taxes, and more. As a result, employers increasingly seek to offer more robust workplace financial health services for employees.
“Much like physical wellness and healthy eating have been human resource points of emphasis in recent years, building an ecosystem of proven and effective financial health programs for employees will define the successful workplace of the future,” said Garry Reeder, VP of innovation and policy at CFSI. “The Lab will focus its efforts on creating replicable best practices for rolling out and measuring the success of these programs while helping refine individual offerings from Challenge winners.”
Traditional workplace financial health tools have primarily focused on retirement benefits. Today’s employers are seeking to offer a broader range of services that can address the diversity of their employees’ financial needs, including short-term savings programs, income smoothing and instant pay tools, small dollar loans, student loan repayment assistance, and more.
“As a large employer, JPMorgan Chase knows first-hand that prioritizing employees’ financial, mental and physical wellbeing is a critical component of helping them bring their best self to work every day,” said Robin Leopold, head of Human Resources for JPMorgan Chase. “It’s good for our employees and it’s good for business.”
This year’s challenge will focus on identifying promising innovations and help measure their impact and performance to ensure effectiveness and usage within diverse work environments. Currently, a lack of clarity both about the effectiveness and the impact of these services on an employer’s bottom line have prevented more widespread adoption
“Over the past four years, we have been delighted to see FinLab companies address the unique financial needs of over 2.8 million people in the U.S.,” said Janis Bowdler, president of the JPMorgan Chase Foundation. “We are excited to identify fintech solutions that cater to underserved workers and can help them reach their potential both at work and at home.”
Each winning organization will receive $125,000 in capital, in addition to professional services assistance from industry leaders such as ideas42 and Google, strategic guidance from the FinLab’s industry-leading advisory council, and resources from founding partners CFSI and JPMorgan Chase, including the JPMorgan Chase employee mentorship program.
Applying for the Challenge
Innovators interested in joining the FinLab’s fifth year class can now complete and submit an application at https://app.reviewr.com/s1/site/WorkplaceFinancialHealthChallenge. Ideal participants will be working with an employer willing to share information as part of the impact evaluation process. The deadline to apply is November 9, 2018. Winners will be announced in mid-January 2019.
A History of Success
In June, the FinLab introduced its fourth cohort of fintech innovators. FinLab companies have represented a wide swath of consumer-focused fintech companies, and inform the FinLab’s perspective on the developments in, and state of, the overall market.
To date, the FinLab has supported 34 financial technology companies offering innovative financial products that reach over 2.8 million Americans. Collectively, FinLab companies have raised over $340 million in capital.
About the Financial Solutions Lab
The Financial Solutions Lab is a $30 million, five-year initiative managed by the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) with founding Lab partner JPMorgan Chase & Co. to identify, test and expand the availability of promising innovations that help Americans increase savings, improve credit, and build assets. The FinLab launches a series of competitions to identify solutions to specific consumer financial challenges. It provides incentives for entrepreneurs, businesses, and nonprofits to enhance financial products and services that address these challenges and improve consumers’ financial health. For more information, visit finlab.cfsinnovation.com.
About the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI)
CFSI is the nation’s authority on consumer financial health. CFSI leads a network of financial services innovators committed to building a more robust financial services marketplace with higher quality products and services. Through its Compass Principles and a lineup of proprietary research, insights and events, CFSI informs, advises, and connects members of its network to seed the innovation that will transform the financial services landscape. For more on CFSI, go to cfsinnovation.com and follow on Twitter at @CFSInnovation.
About JPMorgan Chase
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.6 trillion and operations worldwide. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, and asset management. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of customers in the United States and many of the world’s most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan and Chase brands.