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Park Sterling, a bank with branches in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Virginia more than $3.3 billion in assets, has successfully rolled out an innovative financial education course for internal employees and partner companies.
This program, termed FinStrong (short for Financially Strong), was built by partner MX, a financial technology that enables data for better banking, and deployed in February 2017. When MX set out to create a workplace financial wellness program they approached it through an innovative and interactive lens. FinStrong was built on proven curriculum and financial tenets from the minds of top financial advisors and framed in an engaging, assessment-based structure that helps users align their values with how they spend their money.
“It’s all about leading with financial wellness,” David Reid, Director of Marketing at Park Sterling, said. “We believe that doing what’s best for our employees and clients will eventually pay off, even if it means taking a risk and offering something free upfront. So far we’ve been more than impressed by the results we’ve seen from FinStrong.”
Park Sterling has had 450 employees enroll in their FinStrong program, with a 92% assessment completion rate and over 200 employees completing the entire program.
FinStrong offers a series of videos that empower users to improve their financial strength.
The response from those who completed the program has been exceptional. One user said, “FinStrong has made me aware of what I do and don't do. … I’ve started having more conversations with friends and family on what they are doing to save for the future. It’s made me aware of more ideas and ways to become more financially strong.” Another user said, “FinStrong has really helped me see what it takes to be financially strong and to prioritize what is important in life.” And other said, “I used FinStrong to better assess the means I had been taking to control my personal finances and it brought items to my attention I was not considering.”
MX has seen many successful FinStrong deployments since its introduction in late 2015 and delights in the ability to offer a product that not only improves morale and individuals’ financial lives, but also further establishes financial institutions credibility through the administration of this powerful program.
FinStrong gamifies the process, encouraging users to improve their FinStrong score and get to 100.
Below are just a few quotes from Park Sterling employees regarding FinStrong:
Elizabeth - "FinStrong has made me aware of what I do and don't do. I know there are areas I need to improve especially to accomplish my long term goals. I have started having more conversations with friends and family on what they are doing to save for the future. It has made me aware of more ideas and ways to become more financially strong."
Lisa- "FinStrong has been a great tool to help me align my values with my spending."
Christine - "This program is a very good source to help you with saving your money. Also, to be more aware of where and how we manage our money. It also teaches you by being more disciplined and having patience with how you invest, you will gain in the end."
Nick - "I used FinStrong to better assess the means I had been taking to control my personal finances and it brought items to my attention I was not considering."
Heather - "FinStrong has really helped me see what it takes to be financially strong and to prioritize what is important in life. It has helped me look at my financial health and what kind of debt I need to get rid of so I can start saving more for my future. It was very interesting to see how making certain adjustments can have a big impact for the better financially."