Dave
Index Award 2021 Finalists
Dave
Friendly banking to combat financial despair

What’s the design in a nutshell?
Dave is a banking app that allows its members to receive advances on their paycheck, avoid overdraft fees and build credit history over time. Spearheaded by a friendly, brown bear, their mission is to make banking for humans, not for the market.

Why is it needed?
Big banks have been dictating how we do personal finances for too long while making a massive profit from it. In 2016, they made €27 million in overdraft fees, turning a profit on people’s desperate situations and possibly pushing them into more debt. Over drafting rarely comes from carelessness, but more sheer necessity – more than 25% of Americans overdrafted in the past 12 months alone.

Luckily, we’re seeing a rise in alternative banking and credit-building solutions to empower both the financially illiterate and everyday person. Like so many other aspects of our world, there’s a need for more empathic and value-driven big industry players that help people get back on their feet instead of kicking them while they’re down. 

How does it work?
Dave is disrupting existing banking solutions by offering their customers what others would never dream of. Through Dave, users can get small advances on their paycheck without any interest, avoid overdraft fees and not worry about reaching a minimum balance on their accounts. Users are also able to build up credit through rent payment reporting to major credit bureaus.

To help its members not fall behind and get a better overview of their finances, Dave furthermore offers an automatic budgeting feature that visualises how much money users have left after all bills are covered. And as a side hustle, Dave actually also curates opportunities for members to get a side gig that will earn them some extra money.

So how is Dave turning a profitable business, you’re thinking? They let users pay what they think is fair for their services through a ‘tip’ based model.

"Economic insecurity is a threat to achieving the SDGs and carries considerable personal and social costs."

How does it improve life?
Even before a global pandemic changed the world, millions of people were vulnerable to financial instability. Back in 2019, it was reported that more than 70% of Americans were experiencing some sort of financial problem. Getting people out of financial crises is key in solving multiple issues on a global scale.

“Economic insecurity is a threat to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and carries considerable personal and social costs,” according to the UN's Department of Economic and Social Affairs. “Both the experience of economic loss and its prospect impose material hardship and lead to poorer health.”

What’s the impact to date or projected impact?
Today, Dave has accumulated a massive membership count of 10 million users. So far, their side hustle feature has generated €114 million in additional income along with employment opportunities for tens of thousands of their customers. The company has received noticeable financial banking and was valued at €800.000,000 million in the fall of 2019. They’ve also partnered with Feeding America to help fight hunger in the US and offer users opportunities to help plant more trees in the world as well.