Articles by Kristen Berman
Avoiding the Downside of Instapay: Five Behavioral Science-Based Principles to Make Paycheck-on-Demand Benefit Low-Income Users
There are numerous apps and employers that allow employees to cash out their paychecks on demand, rather than waiting until their usual payday. But while this may seem like a dream come true for people who need quick cash to deal with financial distress, "instapay" also comes with tradeoffs. Analysts at Common Cents Lab discuss these downsides – and some behavioral science-based solutions.
There’s no shortage of apps and initiatives intended to help low-income people budget their money and boost their savings. But for millions of Americans, no amount of budgeting or discipline can overcome a lack of stable income. Studies show that almost 40 percent of working adults experience a drop in income at least one month per year, making it difficult to cover expenses like food, rent and other necessities. Analysts at Duke's Common Cents Lab explore the often-hidden impact of this problem – and discuss some ways product developers and employers could help.
Automated 21st century financial tools, such as bill pay, are meant to make life easier. But for low-income customers and those with uneven cash flow, the need for control of their money can outweigh these benefits. Kristen Berman and Brad Swain of Duke University's Common Cents Lab try to reconcile this seeming contradiction.
Like the elephant seal, most fintech companies are focused on growing as large as possible. That means they usually choose a free business model to facilitate growth. Kristen Berman and Wendy De La Rosa of the Common Cents Lab say there's a better way: Abandon the free model and focus on removing the true psychological barriers to financial management.