On November 18, 2014, in San Francisco’s Mission District, the Financial Health Network hosted a specially designed FinX event aligned with the focus area of the Financial Solutions Lab’s first innovation challenge. The event is an in-the-field activity that provides participants with the unique opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the complexity of the financial challenges consumers face and their experience accessing financial services. Coinciding with the Financial Solutions Lab’s first focus area, this FinX also honed in on specific activities that illuminated household liquidity challenges.
After opening remarks from the Financial Health Network’s Ryan Falvey and JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s Claudia Richter, teams comprised of fintech entrepreneurs, innovative non-profit leaders, and other stakeholders fanned out into the Mission to experience first-hand how uncertain or volatile income and urgent expenses can challenge households across the income spectrum. Teams visited check-cashing, pawnshops, payday lenders, and financial institutions to complete tasks like cashing payroll and personal checks (we learned there is a big difference in who will cash each type and how much they charge), transferring money to a family member, obtaining and loading a prepaid card, inquiring about loans, paying a bill, and pawning desired goods.
Upon returning, participants shared their experiences through a collaborative discussion, and each was asked to sum up their day in one word.
The teams discussed the challenges they faced and how financial services providers can leverage technology to help consumers improve their ability to manage household cash flow. They also delved into how the Financial Solutions Lab can accelerate innovative solutions to help consumers overcome liquidity challenges and improve their financial health.
Earlier in the day, the Financial Solutions Lab announced that household liquidity, the management, and alignment of income and expenses, will be the focus of the Financial Solutions Lab’s first innovation challenge.
Download the Financial Solutions Lab brief on household cash flow challenges to learn more about the impact household liquidity has on financial health and the opportunity for innovation in the space.
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