June 8, 2021
When I think back on all the crap I learned in high school, it’s wonder I can think at all. ~ Simon & Garfunkel
Even at my wise age, I still feel ill-equipped for all of life’s financial situations, and somewhat resentful that my K-12 primary years didn’t even prepare me to write a check. Today’s teachers are focusing a majority of efforts on prepping students for academic and IQ test-taking, rather than teaching critical life skills especially in financial readiness. According to a 2020 survey by the Council for Economic Education (CEE), “only 6 states require stand-alone personal finance courses in high school.” Financial preparedness in the formative years can be a game changer that may eliminate the lifelong consequences of poor financial decisions.
Generations of missed educational opportunities that should have started in kindergarten never occurred, teaching students about: managing money, bank accounts, credit scores, missed payments, interest rates, inflation, credit/debit cards, budgeting, balancing check books, loans, line-of-credits, mortgages, renting, school loans, resumes, interviews, professional networking, and the list goes on. So many costly economic mistakes result in crippling debt, missed opportunities, and a lifetime of financial and professional struggles.
Our team at RIBBIT.ai agrees with CEE that “all people deserve the tools to live a life of opportunity.” Financial education can start at any age, obviously the younger the better, but teachable moments, if we choose to open our minds and listen, are part of our everyday tapestry. According to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) “about 66% of the American population is considered financially illiterate”. FINRA describes financial literacy as “the cognitive understanding of financial components and skills such as budgeting, investing, borrowing, taxation and personal financial management. The absence of such skills is referred to as being financially illiterate.”
Another alarming statistic according to FINRA is “Americans are approximately $12.58 trillion in debt.” As a nation, we can and must do better! As consumers, if we understood the underlying traps under every “good deal”, we might be more cautious before signing the dotted line. As RIBBIT.ai, a 23-year combination of Cash Flow Solutions payments and Transaction Science data solutions, our team of experts understands the components of financial stability, and how to bolster it once it starts to crumble.
Our country is drowning in data, information about everything we do, so why not use that knowledge to help consumers build better financial lives? The RIBBIT.ai team is sold on the idea, inspired to use our deep bank data insights as tools to educate individual consumers about living their smartest financial life. Rick Fiorito, RIBBIT.ai’s COO, says, “Our adaptive behavioral analytics applied to the data available through open banking can level the playing field for many Americans”. Steven Thompson, RIBBIT.ai’s Chief Data Scientist, says, “Behavior Made Clear TM is more than just understanding the banking history. It is about providing affordability recommendations that not only lift up consumers but fit their lifestyle.”
Former FactorTrust Founder/CEO, Greg Rable, Joins RIBBIT Board of Directors
OXFORD, Ohio, April 12, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Today, RIBBIT Inc. announced the appointment of Greg Rable to the RIBBIT Board of Directors. As the former Founder/CEO of FactorTrust, since acquired by TransUnion in 2017, Greg brings over 25 years of management and strategy experience, combined with a history of building successful fintech and alternative data businesses for the consumer finance space. In his role, Mr. Rable is helping guide the RIBBIT leadership team and promote the growth of bank behavior data as a powerful and necessary predictive data solution.
Getting Real with Financial Inclusion
Financial inclusion matters not only because it promotes growth, but because it helps ensure prosperity ~ Sri Mulyani Indrawati
How arbitrary are the words ‘financial inclusion’; who’s in, who’s out and why is it so unfair? If a consumer is ‘in,’ there are financial opportunities for building a better life. If a person is ‘out,’ good luck with climbing out of a deep money pit. Today’s financial institutions think they are building a more inclusive process. However, many are still using information reflective of historical bias so if it didn’t work then, it ‘ain’t gonna work now’.
Why Interpretation of Data Matters
When a man gives you a rose, what you see may not be what he intends~ Patrick Rothfuss
Assessing information is the foundation of most of life’s important decisions. Mistakes are made when the data is unavailable, unclear, inaccurate, insufficient, immaterial, or unjust. How many people have suffered throughout history by poor decision-making? Like it or not, today’s world is data driven, hopefully an information mecca for making insightful, educated, proven and unbiased decisions. However, data is just that, information on a page, it becomes meaningful only when it is wisely analyzed and interpreted.