Deeply personal and often deeply fraught, financial decisions reflect our values, hopes, dreams and fears. Money is a leading cause of stress among Americans and our relationships. The stress can greatly impact personal lives and make it hard to focus at work.

Meanwhile, access to financial services and qualified assistance is expensive — especially so for low-income individuals. Traditional banking model fees and rates tend to disproportionally impact the lower income earners who can least afford it. Beyond being expensive, most financial services offer usability challenges, including significant administrative hurdles and high-levels of financial literacy.

Financial stress is taking its toll on the workplace. A 2017 PwC survey found more than half of workers surveyed to be stressed about finances. Forty-six percent of workers surveyed spent 3 hours or more per work week dealing with or thinking about their financial challenges. In another study, four out of five employers reported that personal financial concerns impacted employee job performance. All of these distractions lead to a significant cumulative negative impact on the corporate bottom line.

At the same time, many employers are engaged in a fierce battle for talent, actively seeking ways to attract and retain new, and increasingly expensive, employees. Meanwhile, older employees are staying onboard longer, working past standard retirement ages due to longer lifespans, a savings shortfall, declining pensions and long-term financial insecurities. Employers are seeking ways to make all of their talent, from the freshest to the most mature, as productive as possible.

Read more from Schwark Satyavolu at