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Experts at the UNC Center for Community Capital are conducting research to determine whether “impulse savings” – transferring money from a transaction account to a savings account via text message – is an effective way for underbanked people to build savings.

Researchers will examine the experience of people who use MAGIC Mojo, a project of Piggymojo, a pioneer in impulse savings, and Magic Johnson’s MAGIC.

MAGIC Mojo links a savings account to a MAGIC prepaid card and allows cardholders to make deposits through text messaging. Center researchers will examine who uses impulse savings, how long they use it and how much they save.

The research is funded by the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) as part of a $1.5 million grant from its Financial Capability Innovation Fund to five cutting-edge, nonprofit-led projects designed to help low-income, underserved consumers better manage their finances. The Financial Capability Innovation Fund receives support comes from a collaborative of funders led by Citi Foundation with Bank of America, Capital One, Morgan Stanley, Experian, U.S. Bank and Visa Inc.

Analyzing consumer financial services for low-income households is a key area of study for the UNC Center for Community Capital, the leading center for research and policy analysis on the transformative power of capital on households and communities in the United States. Part of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the center offers data and analysis that helps policymakers, advocates and the private sector find sustainable ways to expand economic opportunity to more people more effectively. For more information, visit or call (919) 843-2140.


Topics(s): Financial Inclusion, Financial Services Industry, Savings & Asset-Building
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