Dallas, Texas – EARN announced today at #FinCon17 that SaverLife, EARN’s user-centric savings platform initially launched in San Francisco, is on track to pass a million dollars saved by users. To celebrate this milestone, EARN is launching SaverLife nationwide today. Designed to serve consumers making an average income of $25,000, SaverLife is transforming the way low-to-moderate income Americans can use financial technology to save money. More information is available at SaverLife.org.
According to the Federal Reserve Bank, 47% of Americans are “financially fragile” and could not cover an unexpected $400 expense without going into debt. This means that almost half of Americans live close to the financial edge, where a routine event like a flat tire, a parking ticket or a few days off work with an ill family member can quickly lead to financial ruin. Getting more Americans on track to start saving has never been more important.
“SaverLife represents the perfect marriage of fintech and a consumer-first mindset to the communities who can most benefit — low-to-moderate income Americans, who struggle to save, and whose financial lives will be greatly improved with the security of a savings cushion,” said Leigh Phillips, CEO of EARN, a nonprofit.
SaverLife combats the negative impact of financial shocks on the lives of consumers by paying users to save their own money, an approach underpinned by financial technology and behavioral science. The SaverLife national expansion includes a range of platform supports for the online community, such as new digital financial coaching content, access to resources, and small-dollar cash incentives for regularly setting aside savings.
Lawreece Cox, a SaverLife user from Berkeley, California, works for a home health agency, where she’s a caregiver for elderly adults. Lawreece signed up for EARN’s savings program to help her save for her disabled son’s future. “I’m just amazed at how this program really helped. Out of the many that I’ve tried — this was the one that kicked down the door for me.”
EARN’s expansion of SaverLife is supported by national funders JPMorgan Chase, MetLife Foundation, the Prudential Foundation, and Capital One.
“At JPMorgan Chase, we know that promoting savings is critical to promoting the resiliency of households and communities, helping more Americans weather unexpected emergencies and meet their long-term goals,” said Colleen Briggs, Executive Director of Community Innovation at JPMorgan Chase. “By promoting access to flexible savings, we can help improve the aspirations and economic trajectory for low-income households across the country.”
SaverLife will reach 100,000 users by the end of 2017 and expects to enroll 250,000 Americans by 2019.
“We are partnering with EARN because we share the belief that low- and moderate-income consumers can and will save when given the opportunities and well-designed products and programs. By pairing applied behavioral science with financial technology, EARN delivers that winning combination through SaverLife that will provide consumers with a simple and fun mode of saving to meet their goals and achieve their dreams,” said Evelyn Stark, Assistant Vice President at MetLife Foundation.
SaverLife focuses on building a habit of saving – because small savings have a huge impact.According to a recent report from the Urban Institute, a household with a cushion of just $250 to $749 is less likely to be evicted, miss a housing or utility payment, or receive public benefits after a financial shock.
“People tend to focus on income, not savings or wealth. But our work shows savings are at least as important as income,” said Signe-Mary McKernan, co-director of Urban Institute’s Opportunity and Ownership initiative. “Savings are insurance against tough times. When people are financially secure, they are more likely to weather life’s unexpected disruptions, pay their taxes, and contribute to their local economy.”
Founded in 2001, EARN is a national, award-winning nonprofit, whose mission is to create prosperity for low income families by helping them save and invest in their futures. EARN works at the intersection of financial technology and financial inclusion to develop online programs that empower low-income Americans to take charge of their financial lives. In 2016, EARN was identified by the Center for Financial Service Innovation’s Financial Solutions Lab as one of the most promising innovations to help increase savings and manage financial shocks.