Full participation in the economy depends on households being able to effectively manage their finances with access to high-quality financial products and services and relevant, timely information.

Today, almost 2.5 billion people across the globe don't have a bank account.footnote 1

More than half of Americans lack an emergency savings fund and about 34 million U.S. households lack a checking or savings account, instead turning to costly alternatives.footnote 2

As a result, low-income families using non-bank services spend the same share of their income on interest and fees in a year as the average American household spends on food.footnote 3

To promote financial capability, financial literacy efforts must evolve and go beyond just raising awareness. Behavioral change is also critical to financial success.

The Financial Solutions Lab is a $30 million, five-year initiative managed by the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) with founding partner JPMorgan Chase & Co. to identify, test, and expand the availability of promising innovations that help Americans increase savings, improve credit, and build assets.

February 2015, Our First Lab Challenge: Managing Household Budgets

The Problem:

According to the Brookings Institution, more than one hundred million Americans struggle with balancing their household budgets. When bills are due one day, and paychecks come another, consumers are caught in a cycle of debt as they are forced to rely on alternative services like payday lenders or check-cashers to bridge the gap.

How to Solve It:

We are looking for entrepreneurs and nonprofits developing the new technology that will help people confront this challenge and provide people the right tools and information at the right time. Together, winners of the competition will receive a total of more than $3 million in support to bring these solutions to the millions of Americans who need them.

Do you think your product can help empower more Americans to improve their financial health?

The application process closed April 7th, 2015. Stay tuned.

It's time for a new approach that harnesses technology, behavioral economics and human-centered design.

Our Approach:


Uncover and share data driven insights into the most pressing financial challenges facing consumers.


Launch a series of competitions to identify and enhance tech-enabled, financial solutions by providing the best combination of assistance and capital.


Bring together innovators across multiple fields to provide guidance and share best practices to increase the reach and impact of the winning financial solutions.

Technology for Financial Health

Learn more about this cross-sector approach to supporting financial capability.

View Video
Can an App Improve Our Financial Health?

Empowering Financial Capability

Find out what inspired the creation of the Financial Solutions Lab.

View Video

Improving Financial Capability

A conversation with Jennifer Tescher, CFSI.

View Video

Our Partners

As one of the country's leading nonprofits promoting the financial health of Americans, the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) will manage the Lab in collaboration with JPMorgan Chase and their advisory council, ideas42 and IDEO.org will serve as strategic advisors, and will be instrumental partners in the Lab's design, implementation and capacity to yield sustainable, scalable solutions.

"Living outside the financial mainstream puts financial security further out of reach for the one out of every four American households that rely on high-cost services to manage their finances. The Financial Solutions Lab will bring together the best and brightest to identify innovative solutions that help consumers increase savings, improve credit and build assets."

Dalila Wilson Scott, President of the JPMorgan Chase Foundation
The World Bank (2012). Measuring Financial Inclusion: The Global Findex Database.
Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (2012): 2011 FDIC National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households.
Office of Inspector General, United States Postal Service. 2014. “Providing Non-Bank Financial Services for the Underserved.” White Paper. Washington, DC.; Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/cex/2012/combined/income.pdf