Briefs

Scratch & Save: Engaging Digital Experiences Build Financial Security

Commonwealth and EARN tested a digital prize-linked saving campaign called Scratch & Save to motivate weekly small-dollar savings on EARN’s SaverLife platform. This report provides an overview of Scratch & Save and highlights key takeaways that can inspire and inform future efforts to …

Savers Win at Tax Time: Testing Digital Strategies to Promote Tax Time Saving

Commonwealth and EARN tested a pledge and prize campaign to promote tax-time saving among the digital community of low-income people on EARN’s SaverLife platform. Our goals were to better understand the behavior of financially vulnerable people at tax time, explore strategies to drive tax time…

Tax Time and Beyond: Future Directions for Advancing Financial Security

Tax time is a unique and critical opportunity for financially vulnerable people to build financial security. While there have been some efforts to build financial security at tax time, more can be done to help people take advantage of the tax time moment. Tapping a wide range of perspectives, C…

Minneapolis Minimum Wage Hike Resources

The new Minneapolis minimum wage ordinance went into effect on July 1. Learn how to implement this new ordinance with the below tools and resources you can use to boost your business by encouraging your employees’ financial stability. These include: A direct deposit form that enco…

The State of Prize-Linked Savings

Prize-linked savings (PLS) is a proven, innovative, and engaging approach in which savers can earn chances to win prizes by making savings deposits. Commonwealth has been the leading voice for advancing the concept of PLS in the United States for over a decade. During that time, PLS has expanded in …

Integrated Product Design to Build Savings

In December 2017, Commonwealth and The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston (Boston Fed) hosted a Savings Innovation convening focused on integrated product design. Twenty-one banks, credit unions, and nonprofits in the region gathered to discuss financial security challenges and approaches to addressing…

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

For many people, the nature of work is in flux. All indications are that the Traditional full-time job with one employer will continue to become less common as other work arrangements flourish. Those Non-Traditional alternatives are themselves evolving rapidly. To increase knowledge about how these …

Raise-Centered Financial Security Strategies: Findings From Rise with the Raise

Across the country, financially vulnerable workers are witnessing increases to their take-home pay as companies boost compensation and jurisdictions raise statutory minimum wages. Through pilot interventions and consumer research with hundreds of workers, Commonwealth has studied how wage hikes…

SavingsQuest: Gamification Brings Savings to the 21st Century

Commonwealth designed and tested a gamified savings app called SavingsQuest, a modern, accessible approach that facilitates microsaving and reinforces the principle that every contribution counts. As a gamified experience, the app makes engaging in savings behavior more interesting and desirable. Le…

Addressing the Emergency Savings Challenge

In June 2017, Commonwealth and The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston (“the Boston Fed”) hosted a convening, “The Emergency Savings Innovation Challenge,” to invite banks, credit unions and key regulators in the region to discuss the financial insecurity crisis and approaches to …

Walmart MoneyCard Prize Savings: One Year Anniversary Brief

Innovative financial products can help financially vulnerable people save money. Walmart’s MoneyCard Prize Savings program, designed in partnership with Green Dot Bank and Commonwealth, is demonstrating that case. Prize Savings uses the chance to win cash prizes to make saving fun and to engag…

Ramp It Up: Gamifying College Financial Readiness

Access to a college education is one of the key drivers of financial security, and financial aid (loans, grants, and scholarships) can make college a viable opportunity for many students. However, understanding how to access such aid requires financial capability and specific knowledge that can be l…

Product Spotlight: Neighborhood Credit Union’s Prize- Linked Savings Account

For over a decade, Neighborhood Credit Union in Dallas, Texas has offered a unique sweepstakesbased prize-linked savings (PLS) product called Prize Savings. This PLS product provides an example of how individual financial institutions can independently launch and manage innovative savings products t…

Rise with the Raise: Findings From Early Pilots

Nearly 19MM minimum wage workers across the country will receive annual raises of $61.5 billion by 2022. Commonwealth is partnering with employers to ensure as many of these workers as possible can use these raises to build their financial security. Employee financial insecurity can often result in …

Rise with the Raise: California

Over the last six months, Commonwealth has sought to understand minimum wage workers’ and employers’ attitudes, knowledge, and beliefs about the minimum wage hikes and building financial security. We surveyed low wage workers, held focus groups, and met with leaders from employers of low…

Lessons from the Field: Prepaid Savings Features that Consumers Demand

As the prepaid card market continues to grow, consumers will continue to demand, and benefit from, product innovations that encourage savings. This publication discusses Commonwealth's work with the prepaid industry to identify the opportunities and challenges for creating engaging sav…

Providing Direction for a Gamified Strategy: A Case Study

D2D works with financial services industry partners to increase the availability of high-quality offerings that provide vulnerable consumers the opportunity to build their financial capability and security. This case study highlights D2D's work with a large African financial institution to guide…

Scaling an Emergency Frame and Savings on Prepaid

With unbanked households experiencing the highest growth rate in prepaid card use, innovation in the prepaid industry has the potential to help financially vulnerable Americans. Commonwealth is collaborating with prepaid card providers to build scalable, creative solutions to engage low to mode…

Prize-Linked Savings: Creating Financial Confidence and Opportunity

Prize-linked savings (PLS) products are improving financial confidence and self-efficacy. Previous D2D research has provided evidence on the impact of prized-linked solutions on helping financially vulnerable consumers try savings products and build reserves. New research shows that consumers are bu…

2014 FinCapDev Competition: Ten Mobile App Innovations for Underserved Americans

FinCapDev is a mobile app development competition that helps millions of underserved Americans make smarter financial choices and achieve better access to financial services. This year's competition brought ten new mobile apps directly to the hands of financially vulnerable consumers.…