Next Evolution of the Veterans Benefits Banking Program Available to Veterans and Caregivers
Washington, D.C. — A collaboration of financial and Veterans support organizations announced today the launch of the newly designed VetCents to improve the financial health of America’s Veterans and their caregivers.
In a panel discussion moderated by the American Bankers Association Foundation and featuring experts and advocates from the Association of Military Banks of America, the Department of Veterans Affairs, Wells Fargo Foundation, and LifeCents, the redesigned VetCents officially launched to a room of financial institutions, Veterans support organizations and civic leaders. The discussion highlighted the unique challenges Veterans face and how VetCents, the next evolution of the Veterans Benefits Banking Program (VBBP), will improve the financial health of our nation’s Veterans and their caregivers.
“The Veterans Benefits Banking Program launched in 2019 to provide Veterans, beneficiaries, and caregivers with a safe, reliable, and inexpensive way to access their monetary benefits,” said Major General (Ret.) Steven J. Lepper, American Military Banks of America president and CEO. “What started with four financial institutions has grown to 86 and counting.”
The Department of Veterans Affairs, a founding partner of VBBP, shared how VBBP brought to light other financial issues unique to the Veteran community. VA Secretary McDonough: “Veterans deserve to get their benefits in the safest, most secure way possible — and that’s what the Veterans Benefits Banking Program delivers. Expanding this great program, to include financial counseling and education, will have a real impact on Veterans’ lives [by] helping protect and grow the benefits they’ve earned.”
The partnership behind VetCents includes financial wellness provider LifeCents who created the customized financial health platform for Veterans, beneficiaries, and caregivers to access financial wellness tools and resources.
“VetCents is a next-generation approach to improve access for Veterans, beneficiaries, and caregivers to the myriad of benefits available to them through the VA,” said Blake Allison, CEO and Founder, LifeCents. “It also offers an interactive and engaging experience that is designed specifically to help Veterans and their families improve their financial well-being and achieve financial security.”
Wells Fargo Foundation, a key supporter of VBBP and now VetCents, leveraged its experience and success in creating financial wellness programs for niche and marginalized communities.
“Supporting VetCents was a perfect fit with Wells Fargo’s goal to strengthen the financial health of our nation’s Veterans,” said Bonnie Wallace, head of Financial Health Philanthropy, Wells Fargo Foundation. “VBBP and VetCents can directly address the wide array of financial stressors that the Veteran community faces and connect them to the resources and support needed to improve their financial situations.”
In addition to encouraging banks of all sizes to join the VBBP program, the American Bankers Association Foundation serves as the 501(c)(3) nonprofit fiscal sponsor for managing donations that fund the VBBP.
“We’re proud to support the VBBP which is making a real difference in the lives of Veterans,” said Lindsay Torrico, executive director of the ABA Foundation. “We are also excited about the opportunity to get more of America’s banks involved in this important work. Adding the VetCents initiative will help in that effort.”
For more information about VetCents and VBBP visit www.veteransbenefitsbanking.org.
For photos and information from today’s panel visit https://bit.ly/VetCents.
About the ABA Foundation
Through its leadership, partnerships, and national programs, ABA’s Community Engagement Foundation (dba ABA Foundation), a 501(c)3, helps bankers provide financial education to individuals at every age, elevate issues around affordable housing and community development, and achieve corporate social responsibility objectives to improve the well-being of their customers and their communities.
About the Association of Military Banks of America
The Association of Military Banks of America (AMBA) was founded in 1959. AMBA is a not-for-profit association of banks operating on military installations, banks not located on military installations but serving military customers, and military banking facilities designated by the U.S. Treasury. The association’s membership includes both community banks and large multinational financial institutions, all of which are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
About the Department of Veterans Affairs
The VA’s primary mission is to fulfill President Lincoln’s promise to care for those who have served in our nation’s military and for their families, caregivers, and survivors. In addition to the primary mission, VA carries out four specific missions to make good on its commitment to Veterans and other beneficiaries: Veterans Health Care, Veterans Benefits, National Cemeteries, and national preparedness for responding to war, terrorism, national emergencies, and natural disasters.
LifeCents (www.lifecents.com) is a financial wellness and technology company that empowers people to acquire the knowledge, build the habits, and gain the confidence they need to make smarter everyday decisions. The company’s award-winning digital wellness platform helps people become financially aware, savvy, and engaged which is of great value to businesses and communities.