Providing A Better Financial Future
Jacob Schonberger (MDE ‘20) and Mengxi Tan (MDE ‘20)
Independent Design Engineering Project
Fall 2019 – Spring 2020
Jock Herron (GSD), Krzysztof Gajos (SEAS), David Eaves (HKS)
Do you feel confident that you have claimed all refunds, collected all interests, managed every financing account, deposited every check, and utilized every prepaid gift card? If not, you probably have some money in the $60 billion “unclaimed property” pool.
Unclaimed property is considered to be assets that are abandoned by their owner (typically for three to five years depending on the asset). The abandoned property is transferred to the state treasury and turned into cash equivalents. The treasury can treat this money as revenue, but legally must make this money available to be found and “claimed” by its original owner. Each state has its own claims process, but typically returns only about 4.5 percent of the total pool of unclaimed property. Such a low claim rate is due to a combination of low awareness, confusing claim processes, inefficiency in program structure, predatory activities, and lack of trust.
By introducing financial services into the ecosystem, SimpleFuture redesigns the unclaimed property system to be more efficient and user friendly while improving customers’ relationships with their banks.