2024 Predictions: Financial Education Alone is Out & One-Stop Financial Health Shops Are In
As the new year approaches, the financial services industry is going beyond providing financial education and are showing up for their customers like never before.
“Financial education alone is out,” says Rochelle Gorey, Founder and CEO of SpringFour. “People do not need more budgeting apps or reading material about saving techniques — but a combination of both education and tangible, actionable financial assistance resources can go a long way to making a real difference for consumers.”
A quick Google search for “budgeting tips” yields over 2.13 billion results. Looking for a budgeting app? The Apple App Store has hundreds of options to choose from. And yet research from the Financial Health Network shows that the financial health of Americans has dropped to pre-pandemic levels, with an increasing number of people moving toward financial vulnerability. Why, despite increasing access to financial tools and education, are Americans continuing to struggle financially? To put it simply, financial education alone is not enough.
“Due to global and personal crises alike, individuals are increasingly living paycheck to paycheck and need resources that can help them in real-time and in clear, tangible ways,” Gorey continues. As pandemic-era financial programs become a thing of the past and inflation continues to impact the cost of living, nearly 40% of families in the US report having difficulty paying their bills and other expenses. Additionally, 40% of households say they would only be able to cover expenses for a month or less. Offering quick tips and financial education to these segments may provide a bandaid to help them reframe their financial situation, but what they really need is access to nonprofit and government resources that can truly make a difference in the areas of their lives that matter — food savings, rental assistance, employment services, affordable childcare, healthcare and prescriptions assistance, and more.
Gorey has a vision of the future in which financial institutions help their customers by providing access to financial health resources that can drive true change for consumers. She says, “In 2024, banks and financial institutions must become one-stop shops for their customers’ financial health, providing access to resources that can help them pay their bills and find their financial footing while destigmatizing the financial challenges that more and more people face.”
It’s not a new concept that financial institutions should be providing these kinds of services – 59% of retail bank customers said in 2022 that they expect their financial institutions to help them improve their financial health, and yet very few banks are delivering on that expectation. People want to know their banks care beyond what they’ve seen in the past.
“While in the past, organizations have shared their values by supporting causes through donations and social media statements, customers now want to see how banks’ values directly impact their daily lives. In 2024, customers will increasingly choose banks and financial institutions that adopt empathy-first strategies that increase customers’ financial health and lead to more money in their pockets,” concludes Gorey.
In 2024, the financial services industry is stepping up to the plate and providing consumers with real-world solutions to their very real financial struggles. We can’t wait to see it.
Senior Client Success and Impact Manager
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