During these uncertain times, fintech apps play a critical role in offering direct aid to hardest-hit Americans. Our portfolio companies Propel and Chime are moving quickly to leverage their products and services to help the most vulnerable families and individuals impacted by COVID-19.
With more than 2 million low-income users, Propel partnered with GiveDirectly to quickly identify and donate ~$1,000 to qualified recipients through Propel’s Fresh EBT app. Working together, they pinpointed the poorest zip codes that have been hardest hit with coronavirus cases — including New York, the Bay Area, Seattle and New Orleans – to figure out who should get paid. Recipients are now able to pay for groceries, equipment for their kids to participate in virtual classes, and more.
San Francisco-based digital bank Chime piloted a new program giving $1,200 paycheck advances to 1,000 of its users while they wait for their government stimulus checks. Chime provides payment through its SpotMe feature which allows members to go negative in their accounts without incurring fees. Chime is backing the pilot with their own capital, and is challenging traditional banks to do the same.