NEW YORK, July 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Propel, a mission-driven financial technology company, today announced the launch of Providers. The Providers app was designed as a one-stop shop for Americans with limited income to manage government benefits and other income, side-by-side. Providers features a Mastercard financial account called Providers Card, as well as opportunities to save and earn money. The new platform builds on the success of Propel's existing Fresh EBT app, which will become part of the Providers platform. Currently, more than five million SNAP (food stamp) participants use Fresh EBT every month to manage their benefits.
"We realized that providing information about government benefits was helpful, but it wasn't enough," said Jimmy Chen, founder and CEO of Propel. "For families with limited income, making it through the month means managing all of your financial resources, whether they're benefits like SNAP, government cash payments, or earned wages. Existing banking products charge expensive overdraft and minimum balance fees, and are often not designed for the specific needs of this customer. With Providers, we're giving all five million families we serve access to affordable, trusted banking so they can receive government benefits alongside their other income streams."
According to a recent study by Propel, more than 50 percent of eligible low-income families did not receive at least one of the stimulus payments as expected. Black and Latinx households were disproportionately less likely to receive the stimulus payments compared to white households.
The platform's Benefits Hub, which offers easy-to-understand, timely information to help families navigate policy changes to programs like unemployment and the Child Tax Credit, is viewed by over 3.5 million Americans a month.
With Providers, government benefits such as the Child Tax Credit or Supplemental Security Income can be directly deposited into an account alongside income from employers or gig work, and spent wherever Mastercard is accepted. "More Americans need access to high-quality financial products that can help them improve their financial health," said Jennifer Tescher, president and CEO of Financial Health Network. "Propel used deep customer research to inform a customer-centric design that connects government benefits with broader finance tools to give customers a single picture view of their finances."
To deliver a best-in-class financial product for individuals on SNAP, Providers was co-designed with a group of SNAP participants. Amanda G., one member of the group that has been working with the Propel team, said the app is "easy to look at, because you can see both [balances] at the same time...well, all three - food stamps, cash benefits, and debit card." The Providers Card works in tandem with the EBT card (the government-issued debit card used to distribute SNAP benefits), and the Providers app allows people to easily manage both cards in one place.
Providers highlights include:
- Debit and benefits, together. Side-by-side account balances and transaction history for debit and government benefits, such as SNAP, WIC, and TANF.
- No hidden debit fees. No monthly, overdraft, minimum balance, open, close, or inactivity fees. Plus, access to 30,000+ fee-free MoneyPass® ATMs.
- Earlier paydays. Paychecks up to three days early and eligible government benefits up to five days early.
- Control over spending. Instant transaction notifications and 1-tap card locking.
- Safety and security. Virtual cards for safer online shopping, end-to-end encryption, and FDIC-insured funds.
- Benefit updates. Clear information about the latest updates on SNAP, the Child Tax Credit, emergency rental assistance, and more.
- Opportunities to save money. Vetted and personalized discounts tailored to Americans with limited income, such as discounted smartphones and internet plans, utility bill assistance, free delivery for groceries, and more.
- Opportunities to make money. Access to local full and part-time job listings.
Propel's mission is to enable Americans with low income to improve their financial health. Propel's free app, Providers (formerly Fresh EBT), is used by over five million Americans across the country each month. Propel's investors include nonprofits, mission-oriented investors, and top-tier venture capitalists: Financial Health Network, Andreessen Horowitz, Nyca Partners, Flourish Ventures, Kleiner Perkins, and others. Propel is based in Brooklyn, N.Y.
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