Five years ago, the Financial Health Network and JPMorgan Chase designed a program called the Financial Solutions Lab, which aimed to improve the financial health of underserved U.S. residents through innovative fintech solutions.
The project focused on identifying and supporting mission-oriented entrepreneurs, cross-industry collaborations, consumer-centric design, innovative insights, and financially responsible, pro-consumer business models. This partnership between a bank and nonprofit resulted in a nationally recognized program, whose goal is to improve the quantity and quality of fintech products and services available to U.S. residents to help them manage their financial lives.
Over the past five years, we have learned about the financial needs of consumers, as well as the barriers that entrepreneurs, incumbents, and policymakers face in trying to meet these needs responsibly. We know that consumer choice and a competitive marketplace are essential to financial health. More than 170 million adults in the U.S. struggle financially,1 finding it difficult to pay bills on time and save for emergencies. As the Federal Reserve noted last year, 40% of adults would find it difficult to cover an unexpected expense of $400.2 The successes and challenges of the Financial Solutions Lab over the past five years, as well as evolving consumer needs, inspire us to continue this critical work.
Fortunately, the positive changes underway in the consumer finance industry continue apace as a result of rapid technological innovation and a growing body of data that continue to drive positive changes across the consumer finance industry. Moving forward, the Financial Solutions Lab’s mission is to help ensure that these industry changes serve the needs of our most vulnerable communities. It will take our deliberate and sustained efforts, along with those of our partners and allies, to meet this challenge.
This report shares lessons learned over the past five years of close collaboration and support for fintech solutions big and small. Our hope is that it serves as an invitation to join our efforts to improve the financial health of all U.S. residents.