The Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI), along with founding partner JPMorgan Chase & Co., today announced the fifth cohort of Financial Solutions Lab winners, focused on improving financial health at the workplace for underserved workers. The five chosen fintech innovators will share insights on effective strategies for employers to promote the financial health of their workforce. Each company will receive $125,000 in capital, strategic guidance, mentorship from CFSI and JPMorgan Chase, and additional resources to test, enhance and scale their products.
“This year we were looking for solutions to improve financial health in the workplace,” said Jennifer Tescher, founder and CEO of CFSI. “Engaging with workers in the context of getting paid, buying health insurance and saving for retirement represents a powerful opportunity. For employers, helping improve the financial wellness of their workforce can increase productivity, improve retention and engender loyalty that ultimately accrues to the bottom line.”
According to the U.S. Financial Health Pulse, only 28 percent of Americans are financially healthy and nearly half of all U.S. workers report being financially stressed. Meanwhile, the JPMorgan Chase Institute found that people in the U.S. delay getting healthcare until they have cash, and specifically when they get their tax refunds. As financial stress is correlated with increased absences from work, decreased on-the-job morale, higher rates of turnover and negative consequences related to physical health, there is tremendous benefit in improving workplace financial services.
“At JPMorgan Chase, we’re committed to the well-being of our employees. This means we’re always looking at new and innovative ways to address wellness in the workplace, including financial health. That’s why the Financial Solutions Lab is so important and why we help support it,” said Robin Leopold, head of Human Resources for JPMorgan Chase. “Supporting and improving mental, physical and financial health is good for employees and good for business.”
Over the course of the program, the FinLab will augment and gather critical evidence of the role that financial health solutions play in the workplace and measure the impact and performance of services across diverse work environments. This will also raise awareness for workplace financial health programs and develop best practices for employers.
Meet the Cohort:
• Brightside(San Francisco, CA) is a personalized financial health platform providing employees one place to go for all their financial needs.
• HoneyBee(San Francisco, CA) helps employees, regardless of credit history, access an extra week’s pay anytime to help manage unplanned expenses and build credit.
• Manifest(Chicago, IL) makes 401(k) transfers seamless as employees switch positions by standardizing the process and linking providers to dramatically reduce administrative costs, compliance liabilities, and time.
• MedPut(New York, NY) is an employee benefit option that provides 0% financing and bill negotiation services for out-of-pocket medical bills, with no impact to an employee’s credit score.
• Onward(Kansas City, MO) is an employer-based mobile savings and credit app that enables workers to save effortlessly, build financial knowledge, and access responsible credit when emergencies strike.
In addition to $125,000 in capital, each of the companies will receive:
• Access to the CFSI Network and partnership opportunities that can help innovators increase product reach;
• One-on-one ongoing mentorship and expertise provided by CFSI and JPMorgan Chase executives and other industry leaders, from organizations including Ideas42, Frog, Hamburger Gibson, Paul Hastings, Promontory Financial and Washington University; and
• Peer learning via in-person retreats throughout the year and regular virtual working sessions.
FinLab’s First Four Years
To date, FinLab has supported more than 30 financial technology companies from more than 1,600 total applicants. Cohort alumni are offering innovative financial products that reach over 3.5 million Americans and have seen 20x user growth since joining the FinLab. Collectively, FinLab companies have raised over $500 million in capital since joining the program and have helped Americans save over $1 billion.
The four FinLab classes to date have included startups rethinking how to address such issues as expense tracking (Everlance), savings (nonprofit EARN; Digit), planning (Albert), debt restructuring (Lendstreet), payments management (EarnUp), student debt management (FutureFuel.io), youth financial security (Goalsetter; WinWin), income volatility assistance (Even; Dave.com), access to credit (Petal; Nova), protecting aging Americans against elder fraud (EverSafe) and SNAP benefits management (Propel).