Fidelity Investments was one of the first companies to offer a student loan benefit to its employees. That offering was born out of an executive "listening tour" of the company, which found employees putting off major life decisions due to their student debt. While this class of consumer debt is typically associated with Millennials, it is a multi-generational problem effecting 26% of Generation X and 13% of Boomers.
Metrics and research have proven out that a student loan program is a more relevant benefit to millennials in the workforce. These employees prioritize paying off their student loans over healthcare and saving for retirement. This offered a unique opportunity for Fidelity to help address an epidemic while recouping lost revenue from their core business of retirement products.
In January of 2017 a highly distributed team was assembled to bring this product to market, starting with a few pilot companies in September 2017.
Workplace Investing at Fidelity
Companies interested in recruiting and retaining Millennials
Employee Experience: Create a mobile friendly, seamless enrollment experience for the benefit. Offer robust contextual help and guidance throughout the enrollment experience, to promote self-service and maintain profitability. Once successfully enrolled, users will be able to track their progress on a dashboard and communicate with Fidelity through a secure channel.
Plan Sponsor Admin Interface: Enable clients to manage employee eligibility and track participation in the program. Clients will initiate the payment cycles and monitor the stages of the process.
Fidelity Operations Admin Interface: Allow Fidelity's Ops team to facilitate and track payment cycles, including managing money movement. The admin interface will also have client management functionality, including the ability to add a client and manage associated data.
In addition to the challenges inherent in bringing a suite of complex financial web applications to market in an abbreviated timeline:
1. Financial regulations and legal variability across states.
2. Integration with third-party services, including Fidelity's legacy enterprise systems and software.
3. Variability in data quality between loan service providers.
The following flow diagram is a simplified representation of the product development process. I joined Fidelity Labs shortly after the conclusion of the Research phase.
Eligible employees will be directed to the benefit enrollment via a marketing email, internal communication channel or resource. Once enrolled the employee can return to their dashboard to track their progress, edit their loan details, review FAQs or communicating with Fidelity.
In this responsive web application, user's are encourage to begin the enrollment process with their loan statement in-hand to complete the enrollment in one session. While the tone of the messaging is unique within the Fidelity benefit ecosystem, the UI and task-flow is consistent with other offerings. Users progress through a series of steps with the ability to review, or edit, all their data before submitting it.
Contextual help (in the form of tooltips) is inline with the data fields and is intended to facilitate self-service.
Once they are enrolled in the benefit, the dashboard will serve as the employee's homebase for tracking their progress, editing their loan details or communicating with Fidelity.
Employers offering the benefit are prompted to log into this admin tool and approve the list of their eligible employees designated to receive the monthly payment. Administrators can also cancel payments, review metrics and download financial reports.
Shazamm Ka Blamm
Fidelity’s operations team uses this admin to facilitate the monthly money movement for the benefit, manage clients, and client data. Individual loan statuses are managed and verified.
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