19SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Bryan Clagett Bryan is on the executive team and singularly focused on driving revenue growth through a variety of new initiatives that help financial services and fintech become ever more relevant to … Web: https://www.strategycorps.com Details Here are two sobering stats to kick off this post. According to Bank Rate, 76% of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck. Pew reports that nationally, only 51 percent of adults are middle-class. In 1970 that number was 71%.I believe that community financial institutions can make a difference in the lives of those they serve. I know that’s a bold statement, but I genuinely believe it. Financial wellness is important to Americans and we’re letting them down. Establishing, and then sustaining financial wellness, calls on individual persistence, a supportive economic environment, availability of supportive services, and access to quality financial services.Here are 10 ways I think you can make a difference:Enhance digital banking so that you move away from just transactional reporting. Show people where their money is going. Online is where people go. You need to invest more in digital.Stop focusing on individuals and start thinking in terms of the household. Shift the conversation to household financial wellness.Consider starting a small business incubator. Small business is the backbone of the American economy. Support the Go Local movement.Focus contributions and sponsorships on organizations that support your local economy. Showcase how you impact the economy.Retrain your frontline staff and get them to ask questions to determine households financial health. People want a better financial life but don’t look to you for guidance or advice. Invest in your people.Understand your employees financial wellness. Admit that you have no idea how your employees households stand from a financial health point of view. If they are worried about day-to-day or paycheck-to-paycheck survival, what message do they amplify to the consumer? Get to know your people.Long term financial planning is not enough, so help people manage daily expenses. Daily financial support systems help consumers build resilience and make healthy daily financial choices. Make financial empowerment part of your strategy.Change your messaging to one of hope and opportunity, showing how small steps can yield long term gains. In your messaging, show the future as opportunity, not something to be feared.Assure your fees, charges and penalties are very transparent and be clear how they can be avoided. Don’t bury fees or use “fine print.”Lobby on behalf of the American consumer. Only 17 states require high school students to take a course in personal finance. That’s unacceptable. Publically support financial literacy.Plug and play financial literacy programs, videos, “classes” are simply not enough and are typically too passive. The financial services industry needs to get aggressive and make financial wellness a clear business objective. This is remarkable opportunity for any financial institution.