Consumer Action distributes financial technology videos

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—Consumer Action announced today it will distribute financial technology videos in English and Spanish to low- and moderate-income consumers. The videos are available for free download on Consumer Action’s website and YouTube channel.

“The pandemic has forced community groups to pivot and offer their clients education in virtual settings. We felt that it was important to provide financial coaches with another tool to complement their virtual counseling services,” said Consumer Action’s director of strategic partnerships, Audrey Perrott.

The videos are based on Consumer Action’s Improving your financial health with FinTech: A beginner’s guide to personal finance apps fact sheet. The short videos introduce consumers to the types of FinTech tools available and how they can help consumers to improve financial health. The videos also instruct consumers on what to consider when choosing an app and how to stay safe when using FinTech.

The videos were produced by BridgingApps, a program of Consumer Action affiliate Easter Seals of Greater Houston. “Easter Seals of Greater Houston and BridgingApps are honored to be working with Consumer Action and the Wells Fargo Foundation by contributing our expertise in digital technology, tools and financial education to enable our community, and especially those struggling financially, to achieve their financial goals,” said Elise Hough, CEO of Easter Seals of Greater Houston.

The Wells Fargo Foundation awarded Consumer Action a grant of $275,000 to scale the integration of financial technology into financial inclusion programs using financial training, webinars and mini-grants to assist community organizations. The goal of the project is to educate financial educators about financial health and technology, distribute financial technology tools to LMI consumers, measure changes in financial health, and help LMI consumers improve their financial health through the use of financial technology tools. Consumer Action has translated its FinTech (financial technology) fact sheet into Spanish with grant funds. In addition, the organization has trained stakeholders, educated and introduced financial health and technology to 410 consumers and 21 nonprofit staff, distributed FinTech tools, and developed content for the financial technology videos.

With 37% of American families lacking enough savings to cover a $400 emergency with cash or cash equivalent*, Consumer Action is working to combat the negative impact of financial shocks on the lives of consumers by introducing consumers and nonprofit staff to financial technology tools using a human-centered design approach to select FinTech apps/tools for consumers at each site, based on common financial needs self-identified by participants. Project results will be shared in a final impact report at the end of the year.

Consumer Action network partners measure financial health using the Financial Health Network’s FinScore® Toolkit Survey and other Consumer Action proprietary questions at intake, and again at the three-month and five-month points. Tools are distributed based on the individual needs of the consumers. Financial coaches and counselors provide financial coaching and/or counseling to consumers while they are introducing the financial technology tools. Coaches and consumers use the tools together.

Previously, Consumer Action received support from the Nonprofit-Fintech Exchange, managed by the Financial Health Network, with support from the JPMorgan Chase-backed Financial Solutions Lab and the Principal Foundation®, to distribute financial technology tools and educational resources to LMI consumers, measure financial health, and create the financial technology fact sheet. Over the course of a five-month pilot run by Consumer Action with select community partners, 38 consumers and nine nonprofit staffers saved nearly $22,000 through the use of new FinTech apps/online platforms coupled with financial coaching and the use of the Consumer Action FinTech fact sheet. Consumer Action was one of nine grantees in a cohort of pilot partnerships, and the organization’s work was featured in the Financial Health Network report Cross-Sector Solutions: A Guide to Nonprofit-Fintech Partnerships.

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About Consumer Action

Consumer Action has been a champion of underrepresented consumers nationwide since 1971. A nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, Consumer Action focuses on consumer education that empowers low- and moderate-income and limited-English-speaking consumers to financially prosper. It also advocates for consumers in the media and before lawmakers to advance consumer rights and promote industry-wide change.

About Easter Seals of Greater Houston and BridgingApps

Nationally, Easter Seals is the leading non-profit provider of services for individuals with autism, developmental disabilities, physical disabilities, other special needs, service members, Veterans and their families. For over 70 years, Easter Seals of Greater Houston has been offering help, hope and answers to people of all ages with disabilities and their families. Through therapy, training, education and support services, Easter Seals creates life-changing solutions so that people with disabilities can live, learn, work and play in our community.

Founded in Houston in 1947, Easter Seals of Greater Houston provides a variety of needed services to individuals of all ages with all types of disabilities and their families in the greater Houston area and surrounding counties. It is the only organization in the greater Houston area providing comprehensive services to individuals with all types of disabilities and their families.

Originally called the Cerebral Palsy Treatment Center, the organization was started to provide services to individuals with disabilities living in Houston and Harris County. The Center served as a school and as a therapeutic service center over the years, and was briefly called the Children's Center for Developmental Therapy. In 1989, the organization changed its name once again and greatly expanded and reorganized its' services to meet the needs of its clientele. Today as Easter Seals of Greater Houston, the organization provides multiple outstanding service programs (Adult Program, Camps & Case Management, BridgingApps, The Caroline School, ECI Infant Program, Housing Initiative, High School / High Tech, Respite Services, Toy / Tech, the Assistive Technology Lab, Transition Services, and Veterans Services) to children, adults and veterans with all types of disabilities and their families.

BridgingApps is a program of Easter Seals of Greater Houston that provides access to educational and therapeutic tools anywhere, anytime allowing parents, teachers, and therapists to effectively use mobile devices and apps to target and improve individual skill development to help children and adults with disabilities reach their highest levels of physical and cognitive development.

 

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