“Financial wellness” is getting a lot of buzz these days — and for good reason. After all, today’s workforce is crippled by mounting student debt and other rising expenses. The resulting financial stress often damages an employee’s engagement, productivity and attendance. It’s no wonder then that companies are launching financial wellness programs to help their employees take control of their finances with tools to spend smarter, reduce debt and save more. If you’re one of those companies, then this guide is for you.
But where to begin? There is so much to consider here, from the different types and providers of financial wellness, to how to budget for such a program and measure ROI, to optimizing implementation and employee usage, and more. In this guide, we break it ALL down, so you can make the best decision for your employees — and, in turn, your bottom line.
Best Financial Wellness Software
We determined the best employee financial wellness platforms by testing multiple products, gathering user feedback, and leveraging expert insight. Starting with a list of more than 20 platforms, we narrowed it down using evaluations for how each performed across multiple criteria, but most importantly in terms of education, integration, and customer service.
Financial wellness is a lifelong endeavor, so we evaluated each platform for the long-term benefit it represents for employees. For short-term benefits, we looked for access to licensed financial coaches, one-on-one coaching, and personalized budgeting help. We also checked for access to educational resources, including guides, articles, blogs, and workshops.
Functionally, a good financial wellness platform should connect your employees and their everyday bank accounts to awesome financial products. We evaluated each software platform for the number and quality of offerings represented by their benefits portal, and the ease with which they could be connected to top banks.
- Custom Service:
To inspire workers to use this optional software, our experience tells us that it must be backed by excellent customer service. Our evaluation process here focused on customer satisfaction data and on factors more closely related to employee engagement. This is critical because ROI metrics are contingent on tool use, so adoption and continued engagement are necessary to justify the purchase.
Our personal experience and the input of our network of thought leaders led us to this conclusion: there is a trend toward employers providing resources for comprehensive financial literacy to their employees. The proliferation of employee financial wellness tools is evidence of this trend.
We use empirical criteria and decades of cumulative HR experience to create lists like this one. If you want to learn more about our methodology, you can read this article on how we assess HR tech vendors.
Enrich is used by companies for creating personalized financial wellness programs for their employees. With it, you can educate your employees on their benefits, increase productivity, impart financial literacy, and measure their efficacy.
Enrich is an easy-to-customize financial wellness program that aims to educate workers about achieving financial goals.
Through articles, videos, infographics, and more, they can help your employees increase credit scores, maximize 401(k) contributions, and decrease the financial stress that may take away from employee satisfaction and productivity.
Enrich is from the same company as iGrad, a financial education program that partners with more than 600 colleges to teach students how to better manage their finances.
Humana, Mutual of Omaha, Geico Credit Union
InvestCloud Pink is an intuitive financial wellness solution that companies can offer their employees to help them achieve their financial goals and overall wellbeing. Pink uses gamification, behavioral science and educational tools to encourage individuals to be more actively engaged in their financial wellness journey.
- Offers unique features like what-if scenarios and lessons on household planning, and insurance protection coverage.
- Comprehensive well-being features showcase the platform's holistic approach, which integrates financial stability with general wellness
- Powerful features and unique capabilities such as what-if scenarios, household planning, and life scores.
- Includes an insurance overview called “protection coverage”.
- Also features a general well-being section with content on lifestyle, exercise, diet, etc. which is powered by external content providers. This feature is a nice demonstration of the role that financial wellness plays within general wellness, taking a holistic approach.
- Free trial option not available
- Though companies may opt to continue providing access to retired employees, workers cannot continue to pay for coverage if they leave the company
- Coaching is primarily conducted virtually or via phone conversations through partner firms, with no in-person meetings currently offered.
- No free trial
- Not available for individuals, so one can only access it if it’s purchased by their employer on the team’s behalf. Effectively, this means that if the employee stops working for said company, they’d lose access to the tool. However, companies can choose to keep providing it to employees once they reach retirement.
- Via the partner firms, Pink doesn't currently offer in-person meetings with financial coaches. Most are done virtually, or via phone conversations.
InvestCloud have created one of the most comprehensive tools we’ve seen in the employee financial wellness space with InvestCloud Pink. Through it, they’ve leveraged some of the tools used by some of the largest financial institutions and present them in an individualized form that your employees can use for their whole household.
Employees can keep track of all their account balances, assets, and insurance through a single tool and get personalized reports based on all this data. Should employees wish, the platform can also connect them to financial advisors who can provide even more detailed insights on the visual reports that InvestCloud Pink generates.
Pink has been designed to help businesses bridge the divide between individuals’ current financial status and their futures.
Across all Pink clients, there are over 110,000 enrolled users with some of the largest companies in the world leveraging InvestCloud’s unique approach to helping employees with their financial wellness.
InvestCloud Pink has a flexible economic model based on a minimum annual subscription (with an allotted number of active users), functionality utilized, and per-user pricing for additional users above the allotment. They strive to ensure the economic model fits any budget and work with organizations big and small.
InvestCloud Pink is a scalable solution, with current clients in SMB, Mid-Market, Enterprise, and Fortune 500 organizations. Although their primary client base is in the US, due to their global presence they are able to support all jurisdictions. They are quick to adapt to a new customer base since their core product can be translated into all languages.
Unbiased, configurable, and holistic, LearnLux helps employees reach their financial goals. With LearnLux, employees get a financial advisor who guides them personally and helps them create a plan.
LearnLux helps employees increase their financial wellness through intuitive lessons and workflows designed to drive tangible results (decrease financial stress, increase IRA contributions, pay down debt, etc).
In addition to lessons and workflows, LearnLux comes with calculators to help employees figure out the ROI from changing their financial behavior. They also have certified financial planners that can be reached by chat or phone to answer questions.
One of the most important differentiators is that LearnLux makes money off the fee they charge companies - they are not getting affiliate fees for pushing certain financial products, nor are they backed by a major financial institution.
LearnLux is priced on a per employee per month rate, with enterprise preferred-pricing available.
LearnLux's financial wellbeing program was created for employees of all incomes in mind.
Designed to help your employees with their financial goals, Gradifi comes with many compelling features such as financial wellness learning modules, interactive tools and calculators, and Gradifi student loan refinancing marketplace.
Gradifi enables companies to offer student loan repayment as a company perk. This is huge in an era with student debt nearing $2 Trillion in the United States alone. As part of E*TRADE, Gradifi helps companies large and small to enable their employees to pay down their student debt 25% faster. In addition to student loan repayment, Gradifi also offers financial wellness tools, resources, and college savings solutions for employees' families.
Pricewaterhouse-Cooper, Carvana, Peloton, Mattel
Gradifi is best for larger companies.
What makes Spring great is that it's packed with many useful features: customized financial education, simple budgeting tool, goal setting and tracking, progress reports and insight, financial wellness coaching, among others.
Formally known as Holberg Financial, Spring helps employees to get on the right financial footing through goal setting, financial educational materials that are bespoke to an individual, and 1:1 coaching. Whether you're saving for life events, or paying down debt, their offering can help meet your goals. In addition, they have some unique tools that let HR see employee engagement and progress with the tool.
PerkSpot, Kipp, Teach For America
Spring has three pricing tiers:
- Small Business: $1,000 per year for Financial Wellness Platform, additional $8 per employee for coaching.
- Emerging Business: $2,500 per year for Financial Wellness, additional $7 per employee for coaching.
- Medium Sized Business: $5,000 per year for Financial Wellness, additional $8 per employee for coaching.
- Large Business: $10,000 per year for Financial Wellness, additional $5 per employee for coaching.
- Enterprise: Custom pricing.
Spring has flexible pricing plans for companies of all sizes.
Payactiv’s financial wellness platform allows employees to access up to 90% of their earned wages between paychecks. At no cost to the employer, the platform also provides features like 1:1 consultations with financial coaches, savings guidance, discounts, and expense tracking.
- Payactiv costs nothing to the employer and helps them boost employee engagement and reduce turnover by supporting the holistic financial improvement of their employees.
- Payactiv allows employees to withdraw their earned wages at any point during the month to pay for bills, medical expenses, and more. You don't have to wait for payday, pay overdraft and late fees, or borrow money.
- Payactiv's financial assistance program provides employees with an opportunity to consult with professional coaches and get advice on saving, budgeting skills, debt management, and more.
- Employees will have to pay between $1 and $2.99 every time they withdraw money from their earned wages.
- Users have reported that they are extremely disappointed with Payactiv's customer support as representatives either do not respond on time or don't fix the issue quickly.
- Payactiv is slow to update employees' accounts with their earned wages, despite repeated requests from users.
- Many employees have reported that they were unable to withdraw their earned wages despite their employer updating their hours in the system.
Payactiv is a financial wellness platform that allows you to access earned but not paid wages between paychecks. Using the Payactiv app, an all-in-one digital wallet, you can transfer your earned wages either directly to your bank account or the Payactiv Visa card - a reloadable prepaid card that can be used to pay bills and make purchases. On payday, the wages you withdrew will automatically be deducted from your paycheck.
Apart from this, Payactiv offers other services like a budgeting tool, an expense tracker, guidance on savings and spending, 1:1 financial coaching, and a savings calculator.
Over 1500 companies use Payactiv including Uber, Pizzahut, Subway, Alorica, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, and Signature Healthcare.
Payactiv costs nothing to the employer. Employees can access their earned wages by ACH bank transfer, real-time transfer to a Payactiv Visa Card, or direct transfer to a bank account. Depending on the transfer mode, each transaction can cost the employee between $1 and $2.99.
Payactiv can be used by businesses of all sizes. It is especially beneficial for lower-income hourly workers who want to access their earned wages between paychecks.
Apart from allowing employees to withdraw an advance of up to 50% of their paycheck before payday, Branch also provides additional financial wellness benefits like the ability to set up direct deposits, access your bank statements, and personalized saving plans.
- Unlike payday loans that usually charge interest on the amount withdrawn, Branch has a 0% interest policy.
- Besides allowing employees to withdraw cash before payday, Branch also lets them communicate with their peers. They can instant message each other, keep track of their schedules, and drop/pick up shifts when needed.
- Branch does not charge users a fee for instant transfers to the Branch Debit Card.
- All paycheck advances through Branch are confidential - your employer will not be notified of your advance requests.
- According to users, Branch is fairly simple and easy to use.
- While transfers to the Branch debit card are instant, transfers to your connected bank account or debit card can take up to three days. If you want to bypass the wait time, you will be charged a minimum of $3.99.
- Unlike other banking applications that automatically sign you out of the app when not in use, Branch keeps you logged in. Some users find this feature problematic from a data security point of view.
- While Branch gives you early access to your paycheck, the amount of money you can withdraw is limited. This means that you cannot entirely depend on the advance money from Branch in the case of expensive emergencies.
- The Branch app is currently not available for remote workers.
Branch is an advance cash platform that allows employees to withdraw up to 50% of their earned wages before payday. Unlike traditional money lenders, Branch does not charge an interest fee. All transfers to the Branch debit card are instantaneous and free. Transfers to a connected bank account or debit card can take up to 3 days. However, those who wish to bypass the wait time can pay a flat fee for an instant deposit.
It’s important to note that you can use Branch if your employer has signed up for it, and before being able to withdraw an advance on your paycheck, you must have already received at least two consecutive months of pay through Branch.
Uber, Henry Ford Health System, Domino’s, Kelly, and Continuum
Branch does not disclose their pricing upfront. Employers can contact their sales team for a custom quote. Employees pay nothing for instant transfers to their Branch Debit Card. However, transfers to all other debit cards incur a fee of $3.99 for amounts under $75 and $4.99 for amounts greater than $75.
Branch can be offered as an employee benefit to full-time staff and independent contractors across various industries, including manufacturing, healthcare, retail, logistics & trucking, franchise, and restaurants.
A comprehensive education assistance benefits platform, Tuition.io is equipped with student loan management tools, student loan repayment assistance, tuition assistance, and more.
Tuition.io helps companies empower their employees to pay down student debt. When offered as an employee perk, they see people increase student loan payments, which results in a 20% decrease in delinquent loans. They offer multiple products, such as student debt management tools, public service loan forgiveness tools, Student loan repayment assistance, and tuition assistance.
ADP, Ford, Hulu
Customers pay a monthly fee based on the products you decide to offer employees.
Tuition.io is great for any company looking to help their employees pay back debt.
CommonBond focuses on helping employees and their family with student loan debts. It's simple and customizable – employees choose from various options for paying their student debts and can make use of education finance tools for decision making.
Through CommonBond, companies can help their employees better pay for education. They will customize solutions for your oganization around paying down debt, refinancing, or saving for future educational opportunities.
Michelin, Hilton, Humana
Brightside is an all-encompassing financial care solution. It uses the best-in-class technology but has a human-centric core; there's a dedicated team of Financial Assistants that helps employees with anything ranging from retirement replanning to paying rents.
Brightside offers a holistic, mobile-first financial care platform that empowers employees to live happier, more productive lives by tackling the financial challenges they face on a daily basis. Their service connects your employees 1:1 with an expert financial assistant who listens to their unique challenges and needs to then help them navigate the best options available to them.
Whether those are existing employer benefits, Brightside solutions, partner solutions, or community resources, Brightside’s financial assistants are never paid on commission and any kickbacks they receive from their partners are passed along to the employee as part of Brightside’s KickForward™ program. Solutions on their platform include early access to paycheck, payroll linked-loans, auto savings accounts, debt consolidation, budgeting, and plenty more.
Any company looking to improve its employees financial wellness.
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