Explore Explore

The financial challenges and the solutions available to solve them are evolving. At Commonwealth we explore the "new". In this section, read about our newest ideas and thoughts.

How CSAs and Baby Bonds Can Work Together to Close the Racial Wealth Gap

Last month, Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) announced his intention to introduce a bill to address massive income inequality in the United States. American Opportunity Accounts (AOAs), or “Baby Bonds” seek to aid in closing the racial wealth gap that underlies much of the inequality that affl…

Relying on the True Experts to Address Financial Challenges

Commonwealth Leverages Platform Workers Input to Tackle Financial Uncertainty

As the gig economy introduces uncertain income streams for millions of workers, income volatility has become more widespread. No one understands the challenges of this financial uncertainty better than the people impacted. That’s why when we partnered with The Workers Lab on their Design Spri…

Trends and Opportunities for Innovation: Payments

Commonwealth is always looking for changes in the landscape that could lead to either new financial challenges or opportunities for new innovative solutions. Over the last year we have engaged in an extensive research project and have identified four areas&nbs…

Trends and Opportunities for Innovation: Insurance

Commonwealth is always looking for changes in the landscape that could lead to either new financial challenges or opportunities for new innovative solutions. Over the last year we have engaged in an extensive research project and have identified four areas&nbs…

The Opportunity to Ramp Up College Access

Key Research Points to Scalable Solutions for Expanding College Financial Readiness

Ramp It Up fulfills a very real imperative—an introduction to the complicated college financial assistance landscape in a low stress, no-risk environment. Based on new insights from academic research, we are exploring how Ramp It Up might be used as a first-touch intervention in early or pre-h…

Trends and Opportunities for Innovation: New Actors

Commonwealth is always looking for changes in the landscape that could lead to either new financial challenges or opportunities for new innovative solutions. Over the last year we have engaged in an extensive research project and have identified four areas (payments, insurance, decision making, and …

Trends and Opportunities for Innovation: Decision Making

Commonwealth is always looking for changes in the landscape that could lead to either new financial challenges or opportunities for new innovative solutions. Over the last year we have engaged in an extensive research project and have identified four areas (payments, insurance, decision making, and …

Viewpoint: FinTech Group Says New Sector Must Fulfill a Mission

This article originally appeared in the Boston Business Journal on September 21, 2018. As the Boston region’s entrepreneurs, bankers, venture capitalists, regulators, and technologists gathered around the Hub during Boston FinTech Week earlier this month, one important set of voices was under…

Bringing Social Impact to FinTech

Earlier this month, Boston FinTech Week took place - a week of events convened by FinTech Sandbox and organized by Boston’s accelerators, institutions, startups, and firms to build the local FinTech ecosystem. Commonwealth was excited to lend our voice on social impact, financial security, and…

Leveraging Investors to Boost Employee Financial Security

At Commonwealth, we are exploring the role employers can play in the financial well-being of their employees. Our publication Financial Security in the Workplace: Making it Work for Financially Vulnerable Workers makes the case that businesses can support the financial security of their workers in w…

Promoting Financial Security at Tax Time

Come January each year, millions of American households prepare to file their income taxes. Financially vulnerable households—who may have limited or no tax liability and/or qualify for tax credits—commonly file for and are due tax refunds. In 2017 the IRS issued more than $300 billion i…

Using AI to Build Financial Security: 3 Questions Financial Institutions Should Ask Themselves

Over the past year, Commonwealth has hosted a series of Savings Innovation convenings in partnership with the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston (the Boston Fed) for banks, credit unions, and key regulators in the region. Each session focused on a different approach to address the troubling national sta…

Building Financial Security with Rules of Thumb

At Commonwealth, we’re exploring how rules of thumb (RoT) - simple, memorable, actionable, broadly applicable messages that are inexpensive to produce and disseminate - can be used to improve financial security. They provide consumers with a concise direction regarding a behavior to take that …

Board Reflections: An Interview with Keith Malbrue

Board Reflections is a series of interviews with Commonwealth board members discussing their views on emerging financial challenges, innovative solutions, and the future. “Big data” can conjure an exploitative dystopia.  Can it be a good deal for consumers? That is the optimistic …

The Changing Nature of Work: Amplifying the Voice of the Financially Vulnerable Worker

Commonwealth believes that society is more prosperous when everyone has financial security and opportunity, and employment is a primary avenue of opportunity. For many people, the nature of work is in flux. To understand how the financially vulnerable experience the changing nature of work, Commonwe…

Financial Security in the Workplace: Innovative Employer Strategies

The pressures of financial insecurity make it challenging for financially vulnerable workers to do their best work. In our last post and in our recent publication, Financial Security in the Workplace: Making it work for Financially Vulnerable Workers, we discussed the impact of financial insecu…

Financial Security in the Workplace: Building A Foundation for Financial Wellness

Recent years have seen human resource professionals and advocates focus on employee financial wellness. Employees’ financial wellness, the thought goes, is a critical element of their overall wellness and impacts their performance at work. At Commonwealth, we have been exploring how this trend…

Using Facebook for Consumer Insights and Awareness

Connecting with financially vulnerable people is critical to our success. With the growth of social media, Commonwealth recently tested Facebook ads as an easy, and potentially cost-effective, way to raise awareness and hear from financially vulnerable people. We piloted this tool with two different…

Learnings from Boston Saves

CSA programs can provide many benefits to students, families, and communities. Commonwealth believes that they should be designed to meet the needs of the users they seek to benefit. In partnership with the City of Boston, Commonwealth conducted research with 100 Boston Public School families betwee…

Building Commonwealth in 2018

2018 is an exciting year of new work at Commonwealth. A few highlights of our year ahead include exploring new financial challenges faced by the financially vulnerable, testing new solutions to those challenges, and collaborating with partners to scale initiatives. Financial Challenge: Workers wor…