Providing A Better Financial Future

Jacob Schonberger (MDE ‘20) and Mengxi Tan (MDE ‘20)

Project Type
Independent Design Engineering Project

Fall 2019 – Spring 2020

Project Advisors
Jock Herron (GSD), Krzysztof Gajos (SEAS), David Eaves (HKS)

A close up mockup of the SimpleFuture service screens. A diagram overlays the mockups to show that SimpleFuture is the conduit between state treasuriees and the bank to match, verify, and transfer Unclaimed Property to its owners.

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.

SimpleFuture's problem statement. A very small red dot (labeled 4.5% Returned) sits upon a large blue dot (labeled $60 Billion). Text in the left column reads "Across the US, state governments hold $60B + 6B/yr in Unclaimed Property. Despite laws & 'efforts' to return this money... less than 4.5% of Unclaimed Property is claimed by owners each year."

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.

SimpleFuture's solution statement. The top text reads "Our Solution: Eliminate the Search. What if Unclaimed Property looked for you?". Four iPhones with blue backgrounds display 4 steps: your bank notifying you by push notification, logging into your banking app, authorizing your claim, and getting a confirmation.