Since the Great Recession hit, Americans started to identify saving for a rainy day as their number one savings priority. Yet many — particularly those with lower incomes — find that building up a pool of resources is no easy task. One that's made harder without a well-designed savings product where deposits can be preserved, protected, and ultimately grow. Unfortunately, the prevailing features for basic savings accounts, such as minimum balance requirements and limited distribution, don't meet the needs of many lower-income people.
As families strive to restore their balance sheets and build liquid savings for precautionary purposes, there has been heightened interest in developing savings products tailored to meet the needs of lower-income consumers. The Asset Building Program at the New America Foundation is pleased to welcome several experts who are piloting innovative savings products and models that are targeted to low-income consumers. Their remarks and insights will advance discussion about the opportunities and challenges in creating a more robust savings product market.