Common Cents Names New Class to Advance Financial Health Using Behavioral Science

2018 partners will create behavioral interventions with Common Cents Lab to improve financial decision-making for low- to moderate-income people in America 

San Francisco, CA and Durham, NC March 1, 2018 Common Cents Lab, a financial research lab at Duke University supported by MetLife Foundation, today unveiled the 14 new behavioral design partners selected for its work in 2018. Each year, the lab chooses a new group of financial services providers to custom design, test, and launch new features and products that aim to increase financial well-being for 1.8 million low- to moderate-income (LMI) households in America.

“The human brain routinely sabotages our best intentions and causes us to make poor financial choices,“ said Common Cents founder, Behavioral Economics Professor, and New York Times bestselling author Dan Ariely. “This year’s outstanding class of partners shares a desire to serve up products and services that use lessons from behavioral science to help people make better financial decisions.”

“We are excited to be a part of the 2018 Common Cents cohort,” said Maia Bittner at Pinch. “By leveraging their insights into human behavior, we hope to build a solution that builds credit for our customers by tracking actions they are already taking (like paying rent), thus enabling them access to more and better financial opportunities.”

These latest partner financial organizations represent a mix of the most innovative fintech companies, state and local governments, financial nonprofits, and credit unions, and were chosen from a field of competitive applicants. Their year-long collaboration with Common Cents will focus on interventions that increase short- and long-term savings, improve access to credit, and better manage debt and cash flow.

Fintech partners include:

Clarity Money: helps users view, analyze, and make smarter decisions about their money via an easy-to-use mobile interface backed by data science and machine learning.

LendStreet: provides a debt reduction loan to help people get out of debt, rebuild their credit and get a fresh start.

Narmi: provides digital banking applications and channels for financial institutions to improve their mobile and online banking experiences.

Pinch: a mobile app using rent payments to help people build a credit history.

Uptrust: uses text message court date reminders to reduce low-income failure-to-attend rates by 75%, helping to keep them out of jail.

Nonprofit partners include:

Earn: a national, award-winning nonprofit, whose mission is to create prosperity for low-income families by helping them save and invest in their futures.

Vouchers for Veggies: a program increasing access to and affordability of healthy foods for low-income individuals and families using free vouchers for fruit and vegetables.

Vera Institute of Justice: a criminal justice research and policy organization that, among other pressing issues, focuses on bail reform so that people are not deprived of their liberty simply because they cannot afford bail.

Credit union partners include:

Lake Trust Credit Union: Michigan’s largest Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). Through their CDFI certification, Lake Trust is dedicated to finding unique financial solutions that enhance lives and build communities.

Redstone Federal Credit Union: the largest member-owned financial institution in Alabama and one of the largest federal credit unions in the nation with a philosophy of “People Helping People.”

State and local government partners include:

Oregon Saves: a new initiative by the Oregon State Treasury to help Oregonians save for retirement at work.

Keystone Baby Scholars: a new program to seed higher education investments and advance financial empowerment for families.

San Francisco Office of Empowerment (OFE): a unique private-public partnership that convenes, innovates and advocates to strengthen the economic security and mobility of low income San Franciscans.

St. Louis Housing Authority: a high performing public housing authority serving over 9,900 families.

“Common Cents’ practical approach to working with partners – fintech or nonprofits or financial services – has led to real growth and impact for the half a million hard-working individuals and families who have improved their financial health as a result,” said Dennis White, President and CEO, MetLife Foundation.

These new partners are the latest class in a three-year effort to improve the financial well-being of 1.8 million LMI households in America. Common Cents’ goal is to gain scalable behavioral insights for new features and products that can improve financial decision-making in an economically viable way for businesses.

Common Cents today shared the results of its work with 16 behavioral design partners in 2017 as part of its Annual Report. To learn more about participating partners for 2018 please visit:


About The Common Cents Lab

The Common Cents Lab, supported by MetLife Foundation, is a financial research lab at the Center for Advanced Hindsight at Duke University that creates and tests interventions to help low- to moderate-income households increase their financial well-being. Common Cents leverages research gleaned from behavioral economics to create interventions that lead to positive financial behaviors. The lab is led by famed Behavioral Economics Professor Dan Ariely and is comprised of researchers and experts in product design, economics, psychology, public policy, advertising, business administration, and more.

To fulfill its mission, Common Cents partners with organizations, including fintech companies, credit unions, banks, and nonprofits, that believe their work could be improved through insights gained from behavioral economics. To learn more about Common Cents Lab visit


About MetLife Foundation

MetLife Foundation was created in 1976 to continue MetLife’s long tradition of corporate contributions and community involvement. Since its founding through the end of 2017, MetLife Foundation has provided more than $783 million in grants and $70 million in program-related investments to organizations addressing issues that have a positive impact in their communities. In 2013, the Foundation committed $200 million to financial inclusion, and our work to date has reached more than 3.5 million low-income individuals in 42 countries. To learn more about MetLife Foundation, visit




Press Contact:

Michael Azzano

Cosmo PR for Common Cents Lab