SOURCE: Common Cents

Common Cents

June 08, 2017 08:00 ET

Retiremap Launches First Platform Combining Human Coaching and Robo-Advisory to Improve Financial Wellness

Top plan advisory firm Channel Financial commits to new one-to-one financial coaching platform designed with behavioral insights from Common Cents Lab

SAN RAMON, CA--(Marketwired - Jun 8, 2017) -  Research-backed employee financial wellness company Retiremap today unveiled the first financial coaching platform combining human coaching with robo-advisor capabilities. Developed in tandem with Duke University's Common Cents Lab, the new Retiremap Platform leverages behavioral insights to maintain the human element of financial coaching while automating just-in-time communications to enable a scalable financial coaching program at an affordable price.

Designed for employers and financial advisors, the Retiremap System harnesses behavioral economics best practices to promote accountability, goal creation and progress, confidence, and mental accounting by employees. After building and testing live prototypes with Common Cents, the program is currently being rolled out by a number of employers and advisors, including the award-winning retirement plan advisory firm Channel Financial.

According to a study by the Center for Financial Services Innovation, 57% of American adults are struggling financially, and 43% of U.S. households struggle to keep up with their bills and credit payments.

"Our mission is to help more underserved populations tap into critical financial guidance," said Retiremap CEO Matt Iverson. "It is clear that financial education has failed to impact employee behavior over the last three decades. However by turning retirement plan advisors into financial coaches using automated technology and behavioral strategies, we are moving the needle for the populations that need it most."

The use of robo-advisors as an alternative to costly and difficult to scale one-to-one financial coaching has grown in popularity and has led to an increase in venture funding for these technologies. However, researchers have shown that financial coaching remains one of the most effective tools for changing financial behavior and promoting financial wellness.

"Numerous studies indicate that financial education has minimal long term effects on changing financial behaviors," said Channel Financial Partner Matt Gulseth. "Most of the financial wellness programs we evaluated have been based on the faulty premise that education changes employee behaviours. It doesn't. We are working with Common Cents Lab and Retiremap because they are creating behaviorally sound protocols that change employee behaviors."

Created in partnership with Common Cents Lab, the Retiremap platform provides the human element of financial coaching while automating personalized email, SMS and in-app communications. Over the course of a year, the Common Cents team evaluated behavioral research around financial decision-making to create an eight week system that harnessed the resulting best practices to promote financial wellness.

"We partnered with Retiremap to develop a scalable and effective robo-advisor as a way to increase savings and financial wellness," said Common Cents Lab co-founder Kristen Berman. "The result is a platform that removes the complexity from financial decision making and delivers positive, personalized coaching one step at a time."

To learn more about the Retiremap System, visit http://retiremaphq.com/.

About Retiremap

Retiremap is a research-backed social venture focused on helping employees set and achieve their financial goals, particularly those employees experiencing financial stress. Retiremap automates and integrates advisors into the financial wellness program to achieve significantly greater employee behavior change.

To achieve its social impact, Retiremap partners with top plan advisors and recordkeepers seeking to have an outsized, measurable impact on employee behavior.

About Common Cents Lab

The Common Cents Lab, supported by MetLife Foundation, is a financial research lab at the Center for Advanced Hindsight at Duke University that creates and tests interventions to help low- to moderate-income households increase their financial well-being. Common Cents leverages research gleaned from behavioral economics to create interventions that lead to positive financial behaviors. The lab is led by Behavioral Economics Professor Dan Ariely and is comprised of researchers and experts in product design, economics, psychology, public policy, advertising, business administration, and more.

To fulfill its mission, Common Cents partners with organizations, including fintech companies, credit unions, banks, and nonprofits, that believe their work could be improved through insights gained from behavioral economics. To learn more about Common Cents Lab visit www.commoncentslab.org.

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