What a Nobel Prize-Winning Economist Can Teach Us About Banking for Impact


Earlier this month, the University of Chicago’s Richard Thaler received the Nobel Prize in Economics. He’s famous for his contributions to behavioral economics and his unconventional mantras about human decision making. In a 2011 interview, he famously explained that “if you want to get somebody to do something, make it easy. If you want to get people to eat healthier foods, then put healthier foods in the cafeteria, and make them easier to find, and make them taste better. So in every meeting I say, 'Make it easy.'" [1]

What lessons can we learn from Thaler about banking for impact?

Humans aren’t perfect, or even rational. Even if our bank isn’t the best for us and undermines our values, we might stay there because the prospect of finding a new bank seems hard. We get it.

In order for systemic change to occur, the right choices need to be easy to make. Mighty makes it easy to find the best bank for you and your values. To use Thaler’s analogy, we’re adding the good-for-you options to the cafeteria of bank choices, we’re making them easy to find on one platform, and we’re making them appealing with community storytelling and impact reports.

Inertia can prevent people from making beneficial decisions. A survey in 2015 found that 1 in 6 U.S. consumers are not satisfied with their banking relationship. [2] The American public keeps $11.27 trillion in bank accounts. That means that simply because of inertia, over $1.8 trillion could be sitting in banks that don’t deserve it. [3] Mighty makes it easy for dissatisfied consumers to overcome bank inertia; we want to help you move that $1.8 trillion to banks committed to harnessing your deposits to benefit the people and communities you care about.

Too many options can induce decision-making paralysis. There are over 6,000 banks to choose from. We’re helping consumers embrace, instead of shy away from, the sheer diversity of banking institutions. 

Living a life guided by conscientious decisions instead of inertia is empowering. It’s what makes us Mighty.



[1] 2011 McKinsey Interview https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/public-sector/our-insights/nudging-the-world-toward-smarter-public-policy-an-interview-with-richard-thaler?cid=other-eml-cls-mkq-mck-oth-1710&hlkid=46c5592d2d204dfab731e777b564c39f&hctky=2457333&hdpid=98c37573-591f-4f33-b283-8bf1374da294

[2] http://www.marketforce.com/sites/default/files/Banking-Infographic-2015-US_0.pdf

[3] Total in bank accounts divided by 6. This is an approximation.

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