More than half of Americans worry about their personal finances. In a recent survey conducted by The Pew Charitable Trusts, respondents said they are concerned about not having enough money to cover regular expenses, let alone enough to pay off their student debt and save for retirement and emergencies. A wave of recent laws on financial education and lending practices, among other topics, indicate legislators are concerned about the financial well-being of their constituents as well. New technology may be part of the solution to helping Americans better manage their finances.
The Federal Reserve has researched Americans' personal financial security for years, and now suggests that the past and current focus on family income levels should be widened to include all three components of a family balance sheet: income, expenses and wealth.
To understand who is better off and why, the Federal Reserve argues, it's more useful to know not only what Americans earn, but also how much they spend, how much they save and how much they owe. Analyzing this information along with other demographics, such as age and race, can produce a more accurate snapshot of a family's financial well-being or a sub-population's income inequality, leading to more effective efforts in helping all families achieve financial independence. And this is where technology can help.
The Financial Solutions Lab--a $30 million, five-year initiative--encourages fintech businesses (the growing sector of companies and nonprofits that integrate technology into financial services) to identify, test and expand promising innovative technology...