Center for Financial Services Innovation and JPMorgan Chase today commit capital and technical assistance to nine innovative fintech organizations solving cash flow management challenge
CHICAGO, June 11, 2015 — Today the Financial Solutions Lab (“FinLab”) announced nine financial technology innovators as the winners of its $3 million, inaugural competition aimed at identifying solutions that help households better manage their finances on a tight budget. Each winner will receive $250,000 in capital and additional resources to test and expand the availability of their products and services. Winners are building solutions to help people save, manage their finances, access short-term credit and reduce debt – addressing a financial challenge faced by more than one-third of Americans: cash flow management. To learn more, visit www.finlab.cfsinnovation.com.
“We are thrilled to be showcasing some of the country’s most promising solutions to a common financial challenge — that of managing one’s income and expenses on a daily basis,” said Sarah Gordon, Vice President at CFSI. “We believe this group of winners are not only tackling a salient consumer challenge, but demonstrating that our nation has the talent and the tools to create innovative solutions that can scale in a way to improve Americans’ financial health.”
The FinLab winners were announced in Austin, Texas, at CFSI and American Banker’s EMERGE Conference in front of over 700 financial services industry professionals. They were selected from nearly 300 applicants from across the country and brought to pitch their products in New York City on May 15 in front of a panel of cross-sector experts including leaders from JPMorgan Chase, CFSI, and strategic partners in human-centered design, behavioral economics, and the financial technology industry.
“Tough problems like managing income volatility need to be addressed by all sectors –technology, nonprofits, academia, and financial services,” said Dalila Wilson-Scott, Head of JPMorgan Chase Foundation. “JPMorgan Chase is committed to being a part of the solution by supporting the Financial Solutions Lab to help all consumers manage their financial lives and achieve their long-term goals.”
The Financial Solutions Lab is a $30 million, five-year initiative managed by the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) with founding partner JPMorgan Chase & Co. to identify, test and expand the availability of promising innovations that help Americans increase savings, improve credit, and build assets. The FinLab is launching a series of competitions to identify solutions to specific consumer financial challenges. It will provide incentives for entrepreneurs, businesses, and nonprofits to enhance financial products and services that address these challenges and improve consumers’ financial health.
Meet the Winners
- Ascend Consumer Finance, Inc. (San Francisco, CA) – Ascend reduces risk on current loans and rewards the borrower by lowering interest payments for positive financial behaviors, such as reducing debt, decreasing credit card spending and increasing savings.
- Digit (San Francisco, CA) – Digit analyzes a user’s spending habits and automatically allocates available funds from checking to savings.
- Even (Oakland, CA) – Even turns the inconsistent income of hourly and part-time workers into a steady salary by saving money from above average paychecks (in a separate savings account) and boosting low paychecks automatically.
- LendStreet (Sunnyvale, CA) – LendStreet is a marketplace-lending platform which helps borrowers reduce their debt and rebuild their credit, and allows investors to buy the loan at a discount.
- PayGoal by Neighborhood Trust (New York, NY) – PayGoal is a workplace tool that enables financially underserved workers to improve the allocation of wages toward their principal financial goals using a simple, guided mobile experience that leverages behavioral insights.
- Prism (Bellevue, WA) – Prism is a comprehensive bill payment and management app that helps people across the country better manage their personal finances and pay their bills from their smartphones.
- Propel (Brooklyn, NY) – Propel’s technology simplifies the food stamp application process by streamlining the initial enrollment form, eliminating the hassle of submitting paper documents, and providing a phone-friendly interface.
- Puddle (San Francisco, CA) – Puddle is a platform for reputation-based borrowing, allowing anyone with a debit card to make small short-term loans to other trusted borrowers.
- SupportPay (Santa Clara, CA) – SupportPay is an automated child support payment platform that enables parents to share child expenses and exchange child support directly with each other.
These nine organizations represent the next generation of consumer champions. Their winning solutions embrace consumer-friendly design, promote consumer success, build trust, and create opportunity in order to generate mutual benefit for providers and consumers.
Each winning company will receive capital in a form suited to their needs. In addition to the following benefits:
- National partnership opportunities to help innovators increase the reach of their products
- Access to the CFSI network and to JPMorgan Chase expertise
- Direct, ongoing mentorship from industry leaders
- Professional services assistance from industry leaders, including CFSI, ideas 42, IDEO.org, Paul Hastings, Promontory Financial and others
- Peer-learning opportunities, in person and virtually
“The Lab’s first challenge generated an overwhelming amount of interest from applicants and resulted in many high-quality applications,” said Ken Lin, CEO and Founder of Credit Karma, and member of the FinLab’s panel of judges. “We were impressed by the nine winners as premier solutions to help solve consumer cash flow management problems and applaud the efforts of the entrepreneurs to better-serve American consumers.”
The FinLab’s Advisory Council provides overall strategic guidance and resources to competition winners. The Advisory Council is composed of a group of industry leaders from the financial services, technology, academia, and investment community, representing organizations such as Accion Venture Lab, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Core Innovation Capital, Ford Foundation, JPMorgan Chase, IDEO, ideas42, Intuit, Salesforce Foundation, CFED, and more.
In addition to the strategic direction they provide on the FinLab, the Advisory Council will play an integral part in guiding the success of the winning innovations to ensure they meet the needs of consumers and can be made widely available.