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Financial Health

Celebrate Accountholders This Financial Literacy Month

Allison Vielhaber
Apr 29, 2024

April is Financial Literacy Month, and that means it’s time to write your annual blog and social posts on the importance of understanding personal finances and making smart long-term planning decisions. And with 60% of Americans lacking the basic budget, financial plan, or savings, it’s time to rethink our strategy.

This Financial Literacy Month, I encourage you to take a new approach. More targeted programs create more targeted results. So, in honor of this month, here are a few ways you can celebrate your accountholders:

1.   Reduce overdraft fees or offer overdraft protection.  Whether you charge a fee for overdrafts, decline overdrafts and charge no fee, or allow a grace period before charging a fee, by offering this incentive to your accountholders, you’re not just saying you care about their financial success ‒ you’re showing them you care.

If making this adjustment seems daunting, start during the month of April. Some of your peers have already begun reducing or suspending fees, with great results. See what this looks like in action. Making financial wellness a priority for your customers and members starts by making it a priority within your organization.

2.  Educate yourself and others on the past to support the future.  Throughout history, marginalized communities have faced various forms of discrimination in financial service offerings. In its Financial Health Pulse® 2023 U.S. Trends Report, the Financial Health Network found that Black, Latinx, and younger Americans disproportionately experienced an increase in financial vulnerability over the previous year.3 These underserved communities still face unique challenges and systemic barriers 4 to accessing financial support and resources. With practices like redlining, and limited opportunities for credit and wealth accumulation, these individuals are also most at risk to fall prey to predatory financial practices and scams. By turning your attention to the underbanked, you empower them to advocate for their rights, build generational wealth, and contribute to the overall economic growth and prosperity of their communities.

3.  Focus on your young accountholders. Speaking of the future, young adults are at a crucial stage in their financial journey. By providing education, resources, and guidance, you can help them establish healthy financial habits early on, setting them up for long-term success. Young adults are often making important financial decisions for the first time (managing student loans, starting their careers, or ordering far too much Chipotle on DoorDash). By targeting this group, you can help them navigate these decisions effectively, avoid common pitfalls, and build a strong foundation for their financial future. This also leads to greater customer and member loyalty, as individuals are more likely to stick with a financial institution that supports their financial goals. Ultimately, focusing on young adults for financial wellness planning can benefit both the individual ‒ and the financial institution ‒ in the long run.

4.  Host educational initiatives. The lack of financial literacy in schools is a significant issue that can have long-lasting consequences on society. You can celebrate Financial Literacy Month by offering events focused on financial education, partnering with schools or community organizations to promote financial literacy, and providing tools and resources to help individuals better manage their finances.

Kick start your journey with the Jack Henry™ Resource Center. Visit the free digital library to start customizing and sharing financial health materials and resources with your accountholders. By actively promoting financial literacy, you can empower the people in your communities to make informed financial decisions and improve their overall financial well-being.

5.  Give each accountholder a $200 account credit and the password to your Amazon Prime account as a sign of goodwill. April fools! (But we can dream, right?)

In short, you can help improve financial wellness in your community by offering personalized financial coaching services, organizing financial literacy workshops and seminars, providing access to affordable loans and credit-building programs, offering digital technology that gives consumers meaningful insights into their finances, partnering with local schools to teach financial education to students, and collaborating with community organizations to address specific financial needs of underserved populations. By taking a proactive approach to promoting financial wellness, your financial institution can make a lasting impact and build meaningful relationships that could potentially last a lifetime.

Check out what your peers are doing: Skyla Credit Union: Fighting the Financial Health Crisis One Person at a Time.

For more information on the solutions and resources Jack Henry provides, visit us.

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