Earnin Attracts Top Talent with New Head of Research

Angela Hung Joins with Over 15 Years of Financial and Behavioral Research Experience with RAND, Robinhood

PALO ALTO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Earnin, the leader in building products for a more equitable financial system and a better life for those living paycheck to paycheck, today announced the appointment of Angela Hung as Head of Research. In her role, Hung will support Earnin in solving the challenge of inequities in the financial system stemming from the traditional two-week pay cycle and contribute to Earnin’s mission of providing consumers more choices to balance their finances and take control of their money, starting when they earn it.

“The experience Angela brings to Earnin from her tenure at RAND and Robinhood aligns with our customer-first approach to offer financial wellness products that empower our users,” said Ram Palaniappan, Founder and CEO of Earnin. “Angela has a proven track record of leading research teams towards pinpointing solutions that improve the financial wellbeing of individuals, families, and nations. We’re excited about the meaningful research Angela and her team will be undertaking as we continue to illustrate the importance of earned wage access and navigate this rapidly changing industry as Earnin reshapes the financial system to benefit everyday Americans.”

With over 15 years of experience building and developing research teams to execute high-quality research for diverse stakeholders across financial decision-making, Hung joins from her previous position at Robinhood as Behavioral Insights Researcher, where she designed and implemented a research agenda to better understand investor behavior and democratize finance. Prior to this, Hung was the founding director of RAND’s Center for Financial and Economic Decision Making, a research center dedicated to finding solutions to improve the financial health of individuals and families, where she helped design, implement, and evaluate interventions targeted at helping individuals build savings, increase credit, reduce debt, and develop financial capability.

“From my extensive experience designing solutions to help people improve their financial well-being, I see endless opportunities to continue to expand upon that framework to open the doors to a financial system that benefits all people,” said Hung. “Similarly mission-driven to my team at RAND, at Earnin we’re committed to driving product excellence through focus on financial wellness and empowerment. I admire the diverse team and community-centric culture here at Earnin and I look forward to contributing to their incredible impact on people’s lives and well-being.”

As Earnin’s Head of Research, Hung spearheads the research of financial tools and opportunities to support people on their financial journey and builds a customer-centric culture by connecting all employees to customers and research. In conjunction with deeply valued insights from Earnin’s academic partners, like Opportunity Insights at Harvard University, the Lab for Economic Insights (LEO) at University of Notre Dame, and Washington University at St. Louis, Hung’s team uses their deep understanding of Community Members’ financial needs to inform Earnin’s product development, enhancing both Earnin’s current product suite and building its future financial wellness tools to help Community Members not just survive – but thrive.

Hung earned a Ph.D. in behavioral economics from Caltech, a M.A. in Economics from the University of Virginia and a B.A. in economics from Rice University. She is a member of the G35 Financial Literacy Research Network, which comprises a diverse group of researchers from around the world with track records of research excellence and promoting financial literacy and personal finance.

Join Hung and other behavioral experts at the Financial Health Network’s EMERGE Financial Health conference at Loews Hollywood Hotel Los Angeles, Sept. 21-23, 2022. On the panel ‘Using Customer Behavior to Drive Financial Health Impact,’ Hung will discuss ways to leverage design principles rooted in behavioral insights, uncovering what putting financial health first looks like in practice.

About Earnin

As the groundbreaking leader in earned wage access, Earnin’s mission is to build products for a more equitable financial system and a better life. Built for the unique needs of those living paycheck to paycheck, Earnin is designed to free people from the traditional payment cycle and help them take control of their money, starting from when they earn it. Earnin’s comprehensive suite of tools include: Cash Out, which provides access to income as it’s earned, Balance Shield, a low balance alert to help maintain a positive bank balance, Financial Calendar that helps people budget and schedule payments, and Tip Yourself, an easy way to set aside money to reach savings goals. Earnin is community-supported, with no mandatory fees or hidden costs. People have the option to tip what they choose to support the service. As of September 2021, Earnin has performed more than 125 million transactions and provided access to $10 billion in earnings for its members.


Jessie Smiley



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