Important changes to your GreenShield account


What’s happening?

A year and a half ago, we entered the benefits and wellness space. Since then, we’ve helped thousands of employees better their financial lives through GreenShield’s education, tools and services.

Unfortunately, a business can’t survive without a steady stream of revenue to support it. Given both the historically difficult economic times and the dozens of free consumer products out there, we’ve had a hard time charging employers for GreenShield.

As a result, we’ve made the difficult decision that GreenShield will cease operations in 2 weeks as of April 29th, 2016.


Here’s what this means for you and your account

  1. You have until end of day Wednesday, April 27th 2016 to withdraw your Dynamic Savings balance and/or disconnect your linked accounts. Not to worry, any left over funds in your Dynamic Savings balance after that date will be automatically withdrawn to your checking account, and any linked account will be automatically disconnected.
  2. All user data will be deleted on Friday, April 29th 2016.

For those of you who enjoyed GreenShield’s tools have a few free tools you can use. For employees who really loved our Dynamic Savings tool, we’d recommend you check out Digit (www.digit.co) and/or Acorns (www.acorns.com). For employees who wanted help creating a debt payoff plan, we’d recommend you check out ReadyForZero (www.readyforzero.com).

From all of us at GreenShield, we’d like to thank you for using, contributing to, and helping us grow the site. We’re committed to making sure this transition period goes smoothly for you.


What if I have specific questions?

Feel free to reach out to us at contact@greenshield.io with any questions you may have.

 

What are employers doing to help their employees with financial wellness?

In our last post, we asked people what financial wellness meant to them—this time, we asked what they saw employers currently doing to help employees with their finances and what they thought employers could improve on—here’s what they said:

1) “Companies could improve on the matching of 401(k) plans. I’d also like to see companies give unlimited paid time off– employees could handle some of their financial obligations in that time. Companies could also train employees in how to handle their finances/provide direction to a service.” —Carl at NextSpace

2) “I don’t know what employers are doing to support their employees’ financial wellness.”— Trevor at GearFrontier

3) “Most companies that I deal with are really early stage, and not worried about helping their employees with financial wellness. I would say that just educating employees on all available options and making sure they’re optimizing is the most important part. Employers should make sure they’re putting their employees into the best 401ks possible with the lowest fees and educate their employees on the difference between things like mutual and index funds.” —Kris at Amplify

4) “I think employers help employees by setting up automatic payroll (direct deposit), retirement accounts (401ks, IRAs), and making sure their employees are taken care of in terms of insurance and liability. It would be nicer if employers could walk employees through on a personal level that teaches you what to be looking for when setting up retirement accounts—if you’re doing it for the first time, you have no clue what to do.” —Eric at Amplify

5) “Companies should put more emphasis on educating their employees via in-house workshops/seminars focusing on Financial Health/Well Being tackling topics such as money market accounts, IRA, 401K, etc.  Most people are in the “dark” regarding this subject matter.” —Mani at Machinima

7) “Companies provide retirement plans, match and sponsor 401ks and offer health insurance to their employees. I think companies could bring on expertise, and provide basic training for employees informing them of better options. Employees often do things that don’t necessarily mean that they’re going to get a return financially and are just unaware of it.” — Jacobo at Yoi
8) “Work should be a place of family and sense of belonging – it is in our human nature. The best companies are those that have achieved a culture of belonging and sense of caring from management that supports employees on every level—including financial.”—Patrick at Cogostar

What does financial wellness mean to you?

In our last post, we promised to share the responses of the people we surveyed about financial wellness—here’s what they said about what financial wellness means to them:

1) “Not having to be concerned with the most basic needs of living” — Pat at Clutter

2) “Being able to do the things I want to do comfortably and having an understanding of my finances. It’s not only being able to do well, but understanding where I stand with my finances.” – Matt at AlphaDraft

3) “Having control over one’s finances.”— Carl at NextSpace

4) “Job security maybe, comfort, being able to raise your family, being able to buy a house, stuff like being able to send your kids to college and go on vacations with them. Life where you can do the things that you’d want to do with less stress would probably be the best definition of financial wellness.” — Uzi at GearFrontier

5) “Being mindful of your finances and feeling comfortable with the decisions you make regarding spending money.” — Trevor at Gear Frontier

6) “Having all of my finances in order—it means I have a well diversified investment portfolio, no credit card debt, and I have enough cash in the bank to cover all of my expenses.” — Kris at Amplify

7) “Being financially secure, so I’m not worried that I can’t pay my debt obligations (mortgage, rent, etc.). It also means having good credit.”—Eric at Amplify

8) “Having your ducks in a row—having a road map. A budget of what you can spend, and a little more padding on top of that just in case. It’s being aware of your options and having a plan. “—Chris at Little Labs

9) “Making enough money to support my day to day needs (and desires if possible) while also saving for retirement.” —Cindy at Clarity Campaign Labs

10) “Having a considerable amount of money in reserve to sustain you for a ‘rainy day’ and understanding the opportunity cost associated with allocation of dollars. It means being in tune with your financial advisor to ensure your money accounts are placed most effectively to help achieve your financial goals.” — Mani at Machinima: Machinima

11) “Not having to worry about money.” — Jacobo at Yoi

12) “The ability to achieve certain key social metrics while indefinitely sustaining economic priorities and goals.” — Patrick at Cogostar

We’ve launched a new GreenShield!

greenshield product launch

I’m excited to announce the brand new version of GreenShield! We’ve worked closely with our beta companies to integrate the valuable employee feedback we’ve received into the latest version of the product.

The statistics are staggering – $0.50 of every $1.00 of a millennial’s paycheck goes to repaying their Student Loans, Credit Cards, Personal Loans and other debt. And we believe employers are in a unique position to help with their employees with fixing that.

We’re also seeing this debt issue hurt retirement contributions. Many of the millennials we work with aren’t able to fully take advantage of their employer-sponsored retirement plan, like a 401k, because of their large debt obligation. And this problem is compounded if the employer offers a match – employees are leaving free money on the table.

Using the new version of GreenShield, employees are able to submit the debt they have, and we’re able to identify refinancing opportunities from 1000s of options, ranging from traditional lenders to credit unions and peer to peer lenders. In addition, employees are given actionable steps to pay off the debt.

As a result, employees are able to save and contribute more to their emergency savings and retirement funds.

If you’d like a demo to see the product in detail, feel free to contact us and we’ll schedule a web demo!

GreenShield: Creating A Better Financial Future

Announcing GreenShield

greenshield

In the past several years, there has been a ton of innovation surrounding consumer finance. Now, more than ever, there are resources that make it easier for us all to connect with others in the pursuit of mutually beneficial financial goals. What’s missing, however, is the ability to include our largest stakeholder – our employers.

GreenShield is here to change that. Our mission is to make it easy for employers to help employees pay off their existing debt and begin saving for the future.

We fill the gap between health insurance and a retirement plan—these address your immediate health needs and long-term financial needs, but don’t provide for your short-term financial needs. We make it easy for employers to help their employees repay existing debt, save for an emergency and achieve their pre-retirement financial goals (like buying a house). We call this financial wellness.

Why financial wellness?

Employees are struggling with their finances.  70% are living paycheck to paycheck.  30 to 50% have a revolving credit card balance of almost $10k.  47% of millennials spend more than half their paycheck servicing debt.  All of this creates a lot of stress—and that stress impacts their work.  When employees are distracted and stressed, their productivity decreases—an average of $400/employee/year.

When this challenge is addressed, both employers and employees win – employees that are less stressed are happier and more productive, which translates to gains in the workplace. As a company, we at GreenShield are committed to helping our peers succeed in reaching their goals by tackling this very issue.

What can we do?

Providing financial assistance to employees has always been done in some capacity by forward-thinking employers – it just hasn’t always been easy and it certainly hasn’t always been anonymous or simple. Some examples that readily come to mind: payroll advances, 401(k) loans, educational assistance programs.

GreenShield is focused on making it easier for employers to expand their existing programs while changing employee behavior. Education isn’t enough. Most people know they should spend less and save more—that’s a no brainer. Rather than simply repackaging a consumer facing product to become enterprise-facing, our platform instead allows employers to support employees in changing their behaviors and taking charge of their futures.

What about the economics?

There are many direct-to-consumer financial businesses doing great things. There are also many direct-to-consumer financial businesses that only give employees half the truth. It’s not that they’re doing bad things; it’s just that their business model necessitates pointing consumers to certain partners that have the ability to compensate them. The challenge for consumers – and in our case, the employees – is knowing which companies are trustworthy.

GreenShield’s model is different. Instead, we partner with employers. In doing so, we’re able to offer employees access to unbiased financial advice, always steering them to the best resources available to them. For example, this might include an employee’s local credit union, rather than a higher cost alternative lender. It’s been found that employers save $3 for every $1 invested in a financial wellness program. The takeaway: everyone wins.

Why now?

In recent years, we’ve seen the growth of health and wellness programs by leading employers. We’ve seen companies invest in healthcare transparency programs. And we’ve seen the continued success of Employee Assistance Programs. Now that employees are eating healthier, exercising more often and visiting the right medical professionals, it’s become clear that reducing employees’ financial stress is the next frontier in employee benefits.

More than 90% of large employers say they want to introduce or expand their financial wellness programs this year.  GreenShield is here to help.

Are you interested? Get started here.