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Building financial health with embedded finance

July 1, 2024

5 minutes

“Humans of Finance” is a series about how embedded finance helps people and businesses in the real world.

A builder at heart

Neil Powers is an IT professional who lives near Boston, MA.

He’s been writing code and building websites since he was a teenager. In his spare time, he enjoys working on motorcycles in his garage.

“I’m a builder at heart. I can look at an engine I’ve never seen before, figure out what's wrong, and fix it,” says Neil. 

For Neil, the challenge was managing the timing of credit-card payments. Different cards had different due dates, and they didn’t always line up with his pay days.

As an IT professional, Neil has always had a good income. But in the past, he struggled to build financial health. His credit score wasn’t great, and he found it difficult to save money towards important goals.

For Neil, the challenge was managing the timing of credit-card payments. Different cards had different due dates, and they didn’t always line up with his pay days. He sometimes missed card payments, and, as a result, was frequently hit with interest charges, late fees, and overdraft fees.

“My budget was in a spreadsheet that wasn’t connected to my actual spending,” recalls Neil. “On paper, it looked fine. But I kept getting hit with all these fees.” 

Using technology to build financial health

Then Neil found Sequence. It’s a platform that makes it easy for people to visualize their finances and set up rules for money movement.

First, Neil set up rules for how to allocate each of his paychecks. For example, he decided to dedicate a certain amount to paying off his credit cards, while another portion went to building an emergency fund. 

Each time he got paid, the money would go to his Sequence bank account (offered through a partnership with Thread Bank). Then, Sequence and Thread Bank would automatically execute on Neil's instructions.

Sequence functions as a “money map” for its customers. They can see where their money’s going and set rules for things like saving, investing, and paying down debt.

What made Sequence different from other budgeting tools was that Neil could set it and forget it. After he connected his financial accounts and created rules for how to distribute each paycheck, Sequence and Thread Bank would take care of the rest.

For Neil, it’s been a game changer. He started using Sequence in the fall of 2023; today, he no longer struggles with financial health. He raised his credit score and, earlier this year, saved up enough money to take the road trip of a lifetime. He bought an RV and toured the American southwest with his fiancée, pets, and motorcycles.

“It’s been a huge weight off of my shoulders,” says Neil. “I grew up without a financial education. To be able to take a trip like that and know my bills would still get paid was awesome.”

In his spare time, Neil enjoys working on motorcycles in his garage. 

Powered by embedded finance

When Neil sends his direct deposit to his Sequence bank account, that’s an example of embedded finance. 

What, exactly, is embedded finance? It’s when a bank partners with a tech company to make financial products (e.g., bank accounts, debit cards) available inside the tech company’s app or website.

In less than a year, Neil paid off his credit cards, raised his credit score, and saved up to take the road trip of a lifetime.

In this case, Sequence partners with Thread Bank to enable access to bank accounts inside the Sequence app. For Neil, his Sequence bank account functions like a “financial router”—the place all his money flows into and out of. Most banks don’t provide the ability to control your finances at such a granular level, but Sequence and Thread Bank do.

Now that he’s raised his credit score and built up his savings, Neil is working on buying a house.  

“Sequence has completely changed how I do my finances,” says Neil. “I no longer have to dedicate a weekend every month to budgeting. Now, I just check in from time to time to make sure it’s working.”

Sequence is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by Thread Bank; Member FDIC.

Last updated

July 1, 2024

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