The Canadian government offers programs to assist low-income families with saving, such as the Canada Learning Bond (CLB), but these programs are widely underused. Prosper Canada wanted to understand how they could help low-income families save more for their children’s education.
The interactive platform we developed demystifies the process of applying for a CLB, and helps bank employees communicate more effectively with families.
The result? Steadily increasing adoption of the CLB by low-income families.
In a co-creation workshop, we brought together bank employees, low-income individuals, and other key stakeholders to talk about saving. The workshop revealed unknown blind spots, such as the multitude of barriers faced by low-income families, from their attitudes about their financial future to feelings about financial institutions. Realizing these misconceptions helped build a shared vision of successful engagement.
Making interaction easy
One of the greatest challenges in getting low-income people to use a savings tool like an RESP is that they have to interact in a sustained way with bank employees — a relationship where trust and understanding is too often lacking. Our platform included an interactive tool that helps bank employees guide potential subscribers through the process of opening an RESP, using an illustrated process and relatable stories. This novel way of communicating financial information provided a framework for both banks and their customers to communicate on equal footing.
Spreading the word
With the benefit of working prototypes of its online tools for both bank employees and low-income applicants, Prosper Canada was able to have more meaningful conversations with banks about its concepts. These tangible tools showed banks, rather than telling them, what Prosper Canada imagines for the future. They catalyzed the formation of collaborative partnerships around the future of RESPs for low-income individuals.
Building out the ecosystem
A successful program is more than a touchpoint – it’s a network of processes and tools that come together to form a thriving ecosystem. A Bridgeable Service Blueprint outlined all of the elements needed to implement and support the program, from window tags to boost program recognition to a presentation deck to share with partner community organizations.
A novel way of communicating boosts adoption of RESPs.