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Apple highlights three financial wellness apps that help marginalized communities

Financial wellness apps help marginalized communities

In what Apple calls a "WWDC Spotlight," it has selected three apps that are targeted at financial wellness and education.

Apple's Worldwide Developer's Conference, or WWDC, is in June and Apple usually takes some time to discuss some of the innovations being shared by developers. Tuesday's spotlight focuses on financial apps, specifically ones that help the people who need it most.

Banking, credit building, and investing are three tentpoles to a better financial future but often left out of the hands of marginalized communities. Goalsetter, Perch Credit, and Ellevest are three apps that hope to improve financial literacy and bring more financial freedoms to women, children, and people of color.

Goalsetter is an app focused on family and kids' savings and education. It is one of the first Black-woman-owned fintech and financial education apps on the App Store.

Goalsetter uses incentives and education tools to get kids to save
Goalsetter uses incentives and education tools to get kids to save

The app encourages children to start thinking about starting a savings account using quizzes, GIFs, memes, and partnerships. One partnership had the NFL Players Association launch the "Dropping Jewels" campaign in which players talk with kids via Zoom about financial literacy.

"The only way to permeate people's lives in a way where they are using your service at different times throughout the day and throughout the week is if they have it constantly in their hands and it's integrated into everything they do," says Goalsetter CEO Tanya Van Court. "Apps connect families. Goalsetter connects grandmas, aunties, and uncles to kids in their lives, and lets them easily send money to the kids because they both have the app. It connects parents to kids, and lets kids complete their chores and ask for allowance, which can easily be sent to them through the app. It's all of these real-time life moments that happen and the ways that we are integrating ourselves into the family that are only possible because Goalsetter is an app."

Perch is a different fintech app focused on establishing creditworthiness for those who find it difficult to obtain credit. It ties bills and subscriptions to a user as viable data points for creditworthiness.

Perch lets you improve and track your credit score
Perch lets you improve and track your credit score

The app allows users to view their FICO score and find information about the importance of building credit. Since the app's data is tied directly to the three credit bureaus' databases, it eliminates the boundaries for establishing credit.

"There is a huge community of credit-invisible and low-income individuals who don't have access to credit," explains Michael Broughton, CEO of Perch Credit. "There are 55 million Americans in the US who can't even get a credit score. In the Black community alone, there's a 6 percent approval rate for their first credit card if they don't have a preexisting credit score. Perch lives on the spectrum where anyone trying to build, establish, or grow their credit can use the app.

The third and final app highlighted by Apple is Ellevest, a financial app built by women for women. It is an app with a full range of financial tools, from investing to spending. It even offers a debit card that gives cash back when used at women-owned businesses.

Ellevest helps women invest in women-owned businesses
Ellevest helps women invest in women-owned businesses

"There really had not been any innovation in the financial industry since the ATM in the 1980s," Krawcheck says. "But starting a handful of years ago, there's been this fintech explosion where an enormous amount of power has been delivered to users through apps. iPhone is in the pockets of millennials, Gen Xers, and the Gen Zers. The amount of convenience of all of this being in people's pockets is a massive game changer."

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