As a low-income family, I am thankful for the government benefits that we get. However, it can be quite time-consuming to check balances and manage resources.
Thanks to the Fresh EBT app, I am able to use my phone to check my EBT balance, transaction history, and deposit dates. An improved version of the Fresh EBT app, Providers is packed with even better features designed to make our lives easier.
While there is certainly room for improvements, the Providers app is one of the most innovative apps which helps people like me build financial independence and growth. Read on and learn more about the Providers app, its key features, where to download it, and much more.
- About Providers – Making Americans Financially Healthy
- Key Features of the Providers App
- The Providers Card
- Benefits of Using Providers
- Areas for Improvement
About Providers – Making Americans Financially Healthy
Providers is an app designed by financial technology company Propel whose mission is to help low-income families navigate government benefits alongside their income. As a member of a low-income family in America, this app has been very helpful to me.
The app features a Mastercard financial debit account called Providers Card which allows us to save our hard-earned money despite limited resources.
Previously known as the Fresh EBT from the same company, Providers is built on the same platform and is an improved version of the Fresh EBT. Fresh EBT was previously used by 5 million SNAP (food stamp) beneficiaries all over America.
Propel CEO and founder Jimmy Chen stated that Providers was designed to allow families with limited income to manage their financial resources and take advantage of bank opportunities without expensive overdraft and minimum balance fees.
Downloading the Providers App
The app is available for free download at the Google Play Store. It has over 10 million downloads and a 4.1-star rating on the platform.
The app’s interface was overhauled and redesigned, but it is still usable and simple to use.
To me, the interface has improved greatly and is much more pleasing to the eye.
Key Features of the Providers App
I’ve been using the Fresh EBT since its release. However, the improved version, the Providers app, includes major new features which are really beneficial to users like me.
I really like how the app shows me debits and benefits in just one look and gives a complete picture of my resources such as SNAP, TANF, WIC, among others. Moreover, I do not have to pay overdraft fees and maintain a minimum balance.
Paychecks also come in early and I no longer have to wait for a long time in order to claim my government benefits. Before this app, benefits were delayed for over a month before I got to claim them.
Providers offers personalized discounts including utility bills, grocery deliveries, and even gadgets, smartphones, and cellular plans. I also have access to job listings around my community, thanks to the app’s partnerships with local companies and employers.
Security with with Providers App
When it comes to safety and security, I am assured that my money is safe and protected because funds are FDIC-insured.
The Providers app gives me control over my spending and can monitor my transactions through instant notifications and one-tap card locking.
Virtual cards are also safer to use for checkouts during online shopping and are protected with end-to-end encryption, so I do not have to worry about hackers stealing my card information and using it illegally.
The Providers Card
The Providers Card is the new free debit account that comes with every Providers account. It was a lifesaver for me because I’ve always wanted to open up a bank account but never follow-through because of the fees and other formalities that come with opening an account.
Every Providers account comes with the Providers Card for free. I did not have to pay any fees to open an account. I applied and registered straight from the app, too, so it was very simple and fast.
What’s more, the Providers Card is a Mastercard debit card, so I can easily use it almost anywhere – from shopping, bills payment, online transactions, and more.
The Providers Card can be accessed through over 30,000 fee-free MoneyPass® ATMs all over the country. Paychecks also come in 3 days earlier and government benefits can come as early as 5 days before the usual.
Child Tax Credit Payments on Providers
The Child Tax Credit payments are also available on Providers Card. Families with children 17 and under receive around $300 per month.
With the Providers Card, these payments are deposited to our account so we no longer need to fall in line to collect them.
I am alerted of any changes on SNAP, CTC, and other benefits with the app so I do not miss out on any important announcements when it comes to our government benefits.
Benefits of Using Providers
I really feel that Providers has made my life easier and saved me a lot of time when it comes to managing my government benefits. I can instantly see my EBT and WIC balances with the Providers app, instead of having to call a hotline on the back of my card.
Providers also works with every food assistance program and EBT card in America. These include Quest, ebtEDGE, ConnectEBT, California CalFresh, Texas Lone Star, Florida & Pennsylvania ACCESS cards, Illinois Link, MI Bridge, and Oregon Trail.
I can also check out which stores and shops accept EBT and WIC as modes of payment. I can check an interactive map and navigate to the nearest grocery store or food pantry in my area. This really helps me when I am traveling outside my state.
My favorite bonus features are the coupons and discounts that Providers offers! I was able to save so much money from huge discounts. I also have access to tons of recipes that give me fresh ideas to spice up my cooking!
Secure and Safe Way of Saving
The Providers Card debit account and card are issued by Sutton Bank, an FDIC member.
All debit funds are FDIC-insured up to $250,000 per depositor. The app also used high-end class encryption and security to protect my funds.
According to the company’s website, the app does not sell any personal information and does not store sensitive information like our EBT card numbers.
Areas for Improvement
While there are certainly a lot of improvements in the Providers app, I can’t help but compare it to the Fresh EBT app which was a fairly straightforward application. With Providers, I sometimes have trouble finding my balance. I am also unable to see when my next deposits are due to arrive.
I have a hard time catching up with my budget and my budgeting keeps on getting delayed because the transactions take some time to appear. The recipes are great, but perhaps developers could find a way to verify or even filter the recipes as sometimes the meals are bizarre.
I also hope that people are given the option to choose whether they want to set up a Providers account because not a lot of people feel strongly about opening bank accounts.
Although it is a really great idea, the jobs on the app are sometimes irrelevant. I’ve only come across three jobs that I would have applied for, and the rest seem irrelevant or are too low-paying. Perhaps they can improve on that part, too.
Fresh EBT vs Providers
I loved Fresh EBT the way it was, but I certainly like the improvements Providers has. A note to developers would be to incorporate the old features of the previous app and improve the Providers app with bug fixes and other features.
The app is fairly new so I know that it will still be improved in the future. Providing constructive feedback in the form of a review on the Google Play Store is bound to be noticed by developers and could elicit positive changes.
Right now, I am just thankful that an app such as this exists and that there are developers out there who keep people like us in mind and want to make our lives easier despite the financial challenges.
The Providers app has made Americans’ lives easier. It takes the burden off of my already hectic life and saves me a lot of time in managing my incoming money and outgoing payments. I now also have a bank account where I can securely store and save my money.
Apps like Providers help me make use of my time more efficiently and spend my time earning and working. Providers is a great aid for low-income earners and bring us a step closer to financial stability through convenient resource management. Now, I can focus on work and nurturing my family without stressing over finance management.