Finovate Group, a Seattle-based research firm specializing in banking and financial technology, produces four conferences a year that offer a great way to see what innovations are in store for consumers. Each company gets a whopping seven minutes to demonstrate its wares, which makes for a dense load of information for the audience to process. In mid-May, I attended FinovateSpring 2016 in San Jose, Calif., and saw 71 product demos in just two days.
There were about 10 demos that stood out, but two in particular struck me as potentially revolutionary ways for employers to attract and retain millennial employees by addressing significant personal financial problems. Student Loan Genius (studentloangenius.com) and PayActiv (payactiv.com) both could appeal to recent college graduates trying to launch careers. The first helps in paying off bruising student-loan debt, and the second aids in opening up cash flow to pay unexpected bills and contribute to savings.
Tony Aguilar, co-founder and CEO of Student Loan Genius, says that his firm’s research found that 47% of all employees are distracted from work by personal financial stress, and that 83% of those with debt say a student-loan benefit could be a deciding factor in choosing an employer. About 70% of college graduates bring home debt along with their diplomas. Aguilar was inspired to come up with a solution by his own experience in paying off $100,000 in student loans.
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