As innovation continues in the payments space, consumers have a wide array of options for spending and receiving money instantly. Yet these tools remain out of reach for millions of underbanked consumers, while many more struggle with inefficient and costly access to their money. The Financial Health Network has long been working to answer these challenges and make accessing funds frictionless for everyone.

Understanding Payments and Financial Health

In our payments work to date, the Financial Health Network has uncovered several key findings:

  • A robust, high-quality payments system is important for helping people manage day-to-day finances, so they can weather financial shocks and pursue long-term goals.

  • Delays in receiving access to funds, such as wages, pose financial challenges for many people and businesses.

  • As many companies move toward prepaid technology or cashless environments, providers must consider how to expand access to include the underbanked.

Data Spotlight

Why Payments Matter to Providers

Many consumers don’t have a sufficient financial cushion to wait days for checks to clear or to absorb hefty overdraft and processing fees. By developing new, more inclusive transaction capabilities, providers can differentiate themselves and deepen customer loyalty. Beyond financial services, many other industries are recognizing they have an important role to play in making payments more accessible and affordable for their customers and employees.

How We Can Help

Through research and industry innovation, the Financial Health Network is working toward a frictionless payments system for all consumers. Our Compass Principles define standards for emerging payments technology, such as prepaid options, to help people connect more easily with their own money.

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Additional Research Topics

Financial health depends on a complex set of factors and circumstances. That’s why the Financial Health Network produces research in a variety of areas impacting our financial lives.