|[December 02, 2013]
Nonprofit EARN is First to Pit Technology Against the Opportunity Problem Facing 132 Million Americans
SAN FRANCISCO --(Business Wire)--
In 2 days EARN,
a national nonprofit and one of the two largest providers of matched
savings accounts in the U.S., will launch the Firefly Account. It marks
the first time technology is used to bring goal-based, nonprofit saving
to scale, potentially reaching millions of low-wage American workers.
The Firefly Account parts from conventional savings products through its
online portal and online delivery of financial rewards, incentives, and
support to low-wage workers who are first-time savers. Firefly is
designed specifically for low-wage families to build long-term saving
habits, it is free, and it's the only product of its kind offered
without a profit motive.
In using technology to help these families save, EARN innovates
further-it challenges a commonly held view that low-income workers
cannot be reached online; however, research supports Firefly's approach:
Two thirds of households earning under $30,000 per year are
online-this jumps to 86% of households earning between $30,000 and
"EARN's Firefly Account emulates the est of Silicon Valley start-ups by
strategically using technology to solve seemingly intractable problems,"
said EARN CEO Ben Mangan. "In this case, EARN has learned from our first
decade how to take our proven approach to build savings, and to do it
for millions instead of thousands."
Low-income American workers who save have the greatest chance of rising
from poverty, but very few have savings. Firefly's online portal will
bring EARN's proven solutions to scale.
There are 132 million Americans in or on the edge of poverty
Saving is among the leading indicators of poor Americans leaving the
bottom 20% of our economy (Pew (News - Alert) Charitable Trust)
To the 70 million Americans who work 2-3 jobs and are still stuck, or
the 44% who have no savings to withstand the smallest emergency (such as
a broken-down car or medical emergency),Firefly clearly fulfills an
The Firefly Account will build saving habits that lead families to a
lifetime of saving, and ultimately, to long-term prosperity. EARN's 11
years of helping low-income families prove a saving habit that starts
with money for an emergency, grows to savings accounts, and saving that
leads to home ownership, education and small enterprise.
online savings products have already helped thousands of low-wage
workers build lifelong saving habits and financial capability. Since
2002, over 5,200 people making less than $12,000 per year have saved
$6.2 million of their own money.
Much of Firefly's account functionality is through a partnership with Dwolla,
a payment network innovator with offices just recently expanded to San
As CEO Ben Mangan committed
on the Clinton Global Initiative's stage this summer, EARN will help 1
million low-wage workers save $1 billion by 2022.
EARN is a national nonprofit that gives low-income working families the
power to create prosperity for generations. As the nation's leading
microsavings provider, EARN gives families the tools to achieve
life-changing goals such as saving for college, buying a first home, or
starting a small business. EARN's ultimate vision is that millions of
well-informed, low-wage American families will achieve financial success
through proven strategies, fair public policy, and their own hard work.
[ Back To Technology News's Homepage ]