Language Localization Insights: Money 20/20 Session Recap

A recap of our Product Director's session on language localization at Money 20/20.

Understanding a new health spending benefit, like a flexible spending account (FSA), can feel like learning a new language. There are new rules (i.e., use-it-or-lose-it) to master and new vocabulary (i.e., carryover amount, grace period) to learn.

Now, imagine the experience of someone who has to learn about a new benefit in their second or third language. Previously helpful tools like onboarding emails or knowledge-base articles are no longer super helpful. When organizations do not fully localize their product, they create this experience for their program members.

At the 2023 Money20/20 USA  conference, First Dollar's Product Director, Izamar Loredo, led a session on language localization. In this session, Izamar emphasized the importance of inclusive financial tools and provided tips on how organizations can make their products more accessible to everyone. If you were unable to attend, you're in luck as we're sharing a recap of Izamar's session on localization.

Session recap and description

A flier for Izamar Loredo's "You're Not Speaking Language" session on language localization at Money 20/20.
A flyer for Izamar Loredo's "You're Not Speaking Language" session on language localization at Money 20/20.

Session Description

Below is a description of the session provided by the conference.

Everyone should be able to understand their financial tools, but language localization is an afterthought for many fintech solutions. This language gap can add to already wide gaps and divides. If you’re not discussing language localization, you’re not talking about access.

Why language localization matters

Localizing products helps ensure everyone can understand and use their financial tools. Izamar provides a real-life example in the clip below.

Localization is the goal

Translating content for program members is the bare minimum. For mission-driven organizations focused on access, fully localizing their product should be the goal—not an afterthought.

Listen to your product users

Before creating new solutions, listen to the people using your product to learn how to best meet their needs.

Product localization at First Dollar

Izamar leads First Dollar's Product and Engineering efforts to localize the First Dollar Benefit Suite. Thanks to the team's efforts, our partners can offer their members a localized experience in the Health Wallet.

What we learned

  1. Everyone should be able to understand their financial tools.
  2. Organizations should aim to localize their products—not just translate.
  3. Before building a new tool, identify the needs of your users by listening to them.
  4. If our target audiences don't know tools exist, what's their purpose?
Josh Hostetler

Josh leads content for First Dollar, a fintech company that builds infrastructure for health spending benefits. Before First Dollar, Josh led course creation at Aceable, taught First Grade, waited tables at Olive Garden, and wore many other hats. He misses the breadsticks.