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Saving for a Rainy Day: Making It Easier for Employees to Build Emergency Savings

Saving for a Rainy Day: Making It Easier for Employees to Build Emergency Savings

FSL and the Social Policy Institute at Washington University in St. Louis partnered with five fintechs – Brightside, HoneyBee, Manifest, MedPut, and Onward – to explore how they’re used and their impact on employees’ financial lives.

The Financial Solutions Lab (FSL) partnered with the Social Policy Institute at Washington University in St. Louis to examine employee uptake and usage patterns of five fintech offerings provided by their employers. The full report can be found here: Fintech as a Solution for Employee Financial Health: Findings from Five Exploratory Studies

While further study is required to determine causality, our research suggests that employer-channel fintech solutions: 

  • May be a route to engaging struggling employees with workplace financial health programs.
  • May reduce turnover by addressing all aspects of financial health.
  • Can provide a higher-quality substitute for alternative financial services.

Onward, a mobile savings and credit app provided to employees by employers, wanted to understand users’ characteristics, financial circumstances, and savings behaviors as well as the take-up rate for registering and using Onward.

By partnering with FSL on this research, Onward discovered that:

  • The median net savings amount was $150 per user.
  • Users frequently used their savings as balances grew.
  • Nearly three-quarters (73%) of users increased their savings contributions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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