Based on extensive research with underserved consumers, Commonwealth’s design resources provide practical information for developing products as leverage to improve financial security
BOSTON, April 28, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Commonwealtha national non-profit organization that develops solutions to enable financial security and wealth creation for all, has launched a resource center for inclusive product design for fintech and financial services. The resource hub presents actionable insights and recommendations based on more than 20 years of research with people living on low-to-moderate incomes (LMIs), who are disproportionately women, black, and Latinx. Commonwealth insights address systemic issues that can act as barriers to developing financial products that meet the needs, wants, and aspirations of LMI people.
“Inclusive, human-centered product design is an invaluable lever for improving financial security and opportunity for those traditionally excluded from the financial system,” said the Commonwealth Co-Founder and Executive Director. Timothy Flacke. “Ultimately, creating more inclusive products is a pathway to closing racial and gender wealth gaps, and is critical to our mission to provide financial security and wealth for all.”
While access to great products is no substitute for access to financial resources – especially for consistently excluded groups – product developers have the opportunity to meet the unique needs of LMI customers and increase engagement. through inclusive design. Commonwealth research, made possible with support from the MetLife Foundation, along with real-world field testing, demonstrates that more inclusive design must take into account the current and historical context of consumers.
The Commonwealth Resource Center highlights the benefits and importance of inclusive product design and outlines four fundamental design principles: design for system change, foster agency, design for dignity and focus on aspirations – and not only on the current situation. Ultimately, the goal is to provide the tools and information needed to practically design financial and benefits products that can address systemic financial inequalities.
“The Commonwealth Inclusive Design Toolkit presents a tremendous opportunity for product designers to more effectively meet the needs of those who are financially underserved,” said Tia Hodges, President and CEO of the MetLife Foundation. “The MetLife Foundation is proud to support Commonwealth as it delivers this actionable insight to the financial services industry.”
Commonwealth ideas focus on:
- Framing financial security as a journey, including providing support at important times, building milestones, and fostering agency.
- Connect to the community, including leveraging community networks to inspire and connect consumers with resources and knowledge
- Leverage positive aspirations and values, including focusing goals on values and individualizing the experience.
For more information on the Commonwealth Resource Center for Inclusive Design, visit: https://buildcommonwealth.org/our-work/beyond-financial-factors/inclusive-product-design. There you can view current information and sign up to be notified of new research or updates.
About the Commonwealth
Commonwealth is a national non-profit organization that builds financial security and provides opportunity for financially vulnerable people through innovation and partnerships. Black, Latino and female-headed households disproportionately experience financial insecurity due in large part to long-standing systemic racism and gender discrimination. Addressing these issues is central to the Commonwealth’s work to make wealth possible for all. For nearly two decades, Commonwealth has designed effective innovations, products and policies that enable more than 1.5 million people to accumulate more $6 billion in savings. Commonwealth understands that big changes require market players to act. That’s why we partner with consumers, the financial services industry, employers, policy makers and mission-driven organizations. The solutions we craft are rooted in real life, based on our deep understanding of financially vulnerable people and how businesses can better serve them. To find out more, visit us at www.buildcommonwealth.org.
About the MetLife Foundation
At the MetLife Foundation, we are committed to expanding opportunity for low- and middle-income people around the world. We partner with nonprofits and social enterprises to create financial health solutions and build stronger communities, while engaging MetLife employee volunteers to help make an impact. Since 1976, MetLife Foundation has contributed nearly $1 billion to build stronger communities. Our financial health work has reached more than 17.3 million low- and middle-income people in 42 markets. To learn more about the MetLife Foundation, visit metlife.com.
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