In 2014, five years after the Great Recession ended, more than half of American adults were facing serious financial hardship: 58 percent struggled to cover expenses and pay bills, and 45 percent did not save any portion of their income. Part of this insecurity stemmed from income volatility in nearly one-third of US households, as reported by the 2013 Federal Reserve Survey of Household Economics and Decisionmaking.

In response to this crisis, Financial Health Network (FHN), a nonprofit financial services consultancy formerly known as the Center for Financial Services Innovation, partnered with JPMorgan Chase in 2014 to launch the Financial Solutions Lab (FSL), an initiative that helps cross-sector collaborations develop new strategies, products, and services to improve Americans’ financial health.

“In recognition of the potential of technology to deliver scalable solutions that promote financial health, we teamed up with the Financial Health Network to launch FSL,” explains Colleen Briggs, JPMorgan Chase’s head of community development and financial health, who oversees the bank’s strategic partnership with FSL. “We needed a cross-sector platform to realize that potential.”

JPMorgan Chase and FHN co-developed a unique operating model for the lab. FSL brings capital, expertise in financial services, and national exposure to entrepreneurs building scalable products designed to address the biggest financial problems facing Americans. FHN’s 2020 US Financial Health Pulse study, which tracks the changes in Americans’ financial health year over year, reports that more than two-thirds of Americans—167 million people—are not financially healthy.

The innovations that FSL supports are designed to support not only low-income and minority groups but also full-time employees, gig-economy workers, and college students who face financial duress as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the recession.

Read the full article about cross-sector solutions for Americans' financial health by Navi Radjou at Stanford Social Innovation Review.