Fintech News Desk
Based on in-depth research with underserved consumers, Commonwealth’s design resources provide practical insights for developing products as a lever to improve financial security
Commonwealth, a national nonprofit that builds solutions to enable financial security and wealth building for all, has launched a resource center for inclusive product design for fintech and financial services. The resource center presents actionable insights and recommendations based on more than 20 years of research with people living on low to moderate (LMI) incomes, who are disproportionately female, Black and Latinx. Commonwealth’s insights address the systemic issues that can be barriers to developing financial products that serve the needs, wants and aspirations of LMI people.
“Inclusive, human-centered product design is an invaluable lever for improving financial security and opportunity for people traditionally left out of the financial system,” said Commonwealth Co-Founder and Executive Director Timothy Flacke. “Ultimately, building more inclusive products is a pathway for closing the racial and gender wealth gaps, and core to our mission of achieving financial security and wealth for all.”
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While having access to great products doesn’t replace access to financial resources – particularly for systematically excluded groups – there is an opportunity for product designers to serve the unique needs of LMI customers and increase engagement through inclusive design. Commonwealth’s research, made possible with the support of MetLife Foundation, along with real world field testing, demonstrates that more inclusive design must account for consumers’ present and historical context.
Commonwealth’s resource center highlights the benefits and importance of inclusive product design and outlines four foundational design principles: designing for system change, fostering agency, designing for dignity, and focusing on aspirations – not just the present situation. Ultimately, the goal is to provide the tools and insights to practically design financial and benefits products that can address systemic financial inequities.
“Commonwealth’s inclusive design toolkit presents a tremendous opportunity for product designers to more effectively support the needs of those who are financially underserved,” said Tia Hodges, President and CEO of MetLife Foundation. “MetLife Foundation is proud to support Commonwealth as they deliver these actionable insights to the financial services industry.”
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The insights from Commonwealth focus on:
- Framing financial security as a journey, including providing support at important moments, building steps and fostering agency.
- Connecting to community, including leveraging community networks to inspire and connecting consumers with resources and knowledge
- Tapping into positive aspirations and values, including centering goals around values and individualizing the experience.
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