Propel, a FinTech that builds technology to help lower-income Americans manage their finances, launched a new app today (July 14) that combines digital banking with government benefits management.
The new app, called Providers, integrates Propel’s Fresh EBT app and includes a Mastercard debit account, called the Providers Card. With Providers, users have access to an online bank account and can manage their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) food stamp balances and get government assistance programs deposited directly to their Providers Card account.
“We realized that providing information about government benefits was helpful, but it wasn’t enough,” said Jimmy Chen, founder and CEO of Propel, in the press release. “With Providers, we’re giving all five million families we serve access to affordable, trusted banking so they can receive government benefits alongside their other income streams.”
Providers users will be able to see their debit and benefits balances and account history side-by-side in the app. Among the app’s other benefits include the ability to get updates on government program changes, find discounts on things like internet plans, and see local job listings. Notably, users will also be able to access pay — paychecks and assistance checks — several days early in the app.
“There shouldn’t be barriers in your way to find out what your balance is,” Chen told PYMNTS in a conversation. “It helps people slow down their spending and stretch it throughout the month.”
Government benefits include such programs as stimulus checks, tax refunds, Child Tax Credits, disability and supplemental security income, the release notes.
Traditional banking products come with expensive overdraft fees, Chen said in the release, as well as minimum balance and monthly fees, making them inaccessible to lower-income consumers.
All income deposited into the Providers account — including employment income, gig work payments and government benefits — can be spent wherever Mastercard is accepted.