H&R Block Introduces Spruce Mobile Banking Platform to Help More Americans Be Good With Money


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KANSAS CITY, Mo., Jan. 20, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Living paycheck to paycheck is one of the greatest sources of economic stress for Americans today, and these anxieties impact on mental and physical health. Two-thirds of the American population struggles with one or more aspects of their finances, including spending, saving, and planning. To meet these needs, H&R Block (NYSE: HRB) announces the launch of the Spruce℠ mobile banking platform to help everyone be good with money. The Spruce solution includes a spending account with a debit card, as well as a connected savings account that allows budgeting for specific goals. Spruce demonstrates how H&R Block continues to grow in key areas, such as fintech, and is another way the company is helping customers achieve year-round financial confidence.

As the pandemic continues and the resulting economic uncertainty has highlighted the value of simple, easy-to-use spending and saving tools, Spruce℠, built by H&R Block with banking products powered by MetaBank ®, NA Member FDIC, provides the financial knowledge—something Americans urgently need. Millions of Americans lack adequate banking solutions, making it harder for them to maintain financial stability. H&R Block created Spruce to fill this gap and boost financial inclusion by helping people adopt healthy financial habits every day. This includes the more than 21 million households who already turn to H&R Block for their most important financial event of the year, their tax return.

“Spruce is a fintech platform that combines the best features of leading neo-banks with the trusted brand of H&R Block, our 66-year history, and the insights we’ve gained from helping millions of customers each year. Our front row seat on American life offers a unique understanding of how to help people get better with money, and we’ve applied those learnings to Spruce,” said Jeff Jones, President and Chief management of H&R Block. “The creation and launch of Spruce is an important milestone for our business as we continue to execute on our transformation and growth strategy, Block Horizons 2025.”

Spruce is a mobile banking app and includes a debit card with benefits

  • Savings goals. The Spruce mobile banking app includes tips to help users set and stick to personalized savings goals. From paying for college to buying a car, Spruce also offers options for setting up automatic transfers to savings.
  • Cash back. When users shop at select retailers using the Spruce Debit Card, they receive automatic cash back, which can be applied toward savings goals. There are over 10,000 places to get cashback and curated offers for Spruce users.1
  • No monthly fees. Spruce accounts have no monthly fees, no sign-up fees, and no minimum balance requirements.2 Spruce users also have access to over 55,000 ATMs nationwide, with no ATM fees automatic.3

“For decades, our main tax clients have been hard-working Americans trying to make ends meet. Our deep understanding of their needs helped us discover that what mobile banking lacked were easy-to-use features in a product from a company people know and trust,” said Les Whiting. , Chief Financial Officer of H&R Block. “We believe in a future with equitable access to easy and affordable banking services. Our customers already trust us with their most personal financial information when we help them file their taxes, and we created the Spruce solution to address their unmet banking needs as well.

Additional characteristics of spruce

  • Advance payment. An added benefit of using Spruce is the ability to receive direct deposits up to two days in advance, helping customers receive their payment sooner.4
  • Credit score monitoring. Using Spruce helps customers see their credit scores for free, understand the impact of different factors on credit scores, and better understand how they are used.5
  • Overdraft protection. Setting up direct deposit allows users to access overdraft protection of up to $20 through the Courtesy Cover feature.6
  • Tax refund allocation. Refund season can now be celebrated year-round, as the Spruce mobile banking app makes it easy for customers to allocate a portion of their tax refund to their savings goals.

Although Spruce’s mobile banking offering is new to the market, H&R Block has been providing customers with access to quality financial products and services for decades. The H&R Block Emerald Prepaid Mastercard® program gives customers quick and convenient access to their tax refund. The addition of the Spruce offering gives customers a new mobile banking solution with additional ways to access and manage their money throughout the year.

The Spruce mobile banking app can be downloaded from app stores. Accounts can be opened through the Spruce app and on the Spruce website. More information is available at sprucemoney.com.

About H&R BlockH&R Block, Inc. (NYSE: HRB) provides help and inspires confidence in its customers and communities around the world through tax preparation services, financial products, and small business solutions. The company combines digital innovation with human expertise and care as it helps people get the best outcome at tax time and better manage their money through its mobile banking app, Spruce. Through Block Advisors and Wave, the company helps small business owners thrive with innovative products like Wave Money, a banking and accounting solution for small businesses, and the only business bank account to automatically manage accounting. For more information, visit H&R Block News or follow @HRBlockNews on Twitter.

About MetaBank®MetaBank®, NA, a national bank, is a subsidiary of Meta Financial Group, Inc.® (Nasdaq: CASH), a South Dakota-based financial holding company. MetaBank strives to remove barriers to financial access and promote economic mobility by working with third parties to provide responsible, secure, and high-quality financial products that contribute to the social and economic benefits of communities at the heart of the real economy. MetaBank strives to increase financial availability, choice and opportunity for everyone. Additional information can be found by visiting www.metafinancialgroup.com.

Spruce is a financial technology platform built by H&R Block, which is not a bank. SpruceSM Spending and savings accounts are established and the Spruce debit card is issued by MetaBank®, NA, Member FDIC, pursuant to license from Mastercard International Incorporated. MasterCard® and the circle design are registered trademarks of Mastercard International Incorporated.

1 Spruce rewards are powered by Dosh. Cash back offers and amounts may vary by user, merchant location and offer period. Check the Spruce app for offer availability. Cash back earned from qualifying purchases will be deposited into the Spruce Savings Account. See Spruce Rewards powered by Dosh Terms for more details.

2 Additional fees apply for certain uses of the debit card and Spruce accounts. See www.SpruceMoney.com/costs for more details.

3 There are no fees for withdrawing money at Allpoint® ticket vending machines. A $3 fee applies to other ATMs, plus any additional fees charged by the ATM operator.

4 Early access to funds depends on when the payer submits the payment. These funds are generally made available on the day of receipt of the payment instruction, which can be up to 2 days before the payer’s scheduled payment date. To qualify, the account holder must receive $200 in direct deposits within the relevant 35-day period, not including tax refunds.

5 Credit score is FICO® Score 8 based on data from Experian. Lenders or insurers may use a FICO score different from the FICO 8 score, or another type of credit score. FICO® is a trademark of Fair Isaac Corporation. This is a separate service from the Spruce Spending and Savings Accounts provided by MetaBank®, NA, Member FDIC.

6 Courtesy Cover is only available for purchase transactions, ATM withdrawals, and counter withdrawals using the Spruce Debit Card. It is not a credit extension; this is a courtesy exercised at the discretion of the bank. To be eligible, the account holder must receive $200 in qualifying deposits over the relevant 35-day period and register. Negative balances are limited to $20 and must be refunded within 30 days. See Spending Account Agreement for more details.

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Source: HRB Tax Group, Inc.

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Michael C. Sumner