Turning 50 brings new financial imperatives.

For many it means growing a career, retiring a mortgage, setting aside college funds, planning for retirement, and trading caring for children with caring for elderly parents.

What should the goals of relevant financial solutions be?

How might we create financial services that support the dreams, ambitions and responsibilities of credit union members aged 50 and over? These solutions may have far-reaching implications, because they affect the decisions and futures of those who hold roughly half the wealth in America.

Envision those solutions – and compete for the $10,000 THINK Prize.

Through CO-OP’s partnership with OpenIDEO’s global community, we’re welcoming participants of all ages to share their experiences and collaborate to create solutions that are smart, simple, secure, and tailored to older adults. CO-OP will award the 2016 THINK Prize to one or more Top Ideas resulting from this process.

Bring Your Insights to the THINK Prize Challenge:

The Financial Longevity Challenge

Explore Top Ideas from THINK Prize

The top five ideas from the THINK Prize 16 Financial Longevity Challenge have been chosen. Our call for innovative financial products and services for credit union members over 50 resulted in amazing ideas, contributions, and collaborations since this Challenge launched in October. From hackathons and workshops to participation from credit unions, design students, and the OpenIDEO community, it’s been inspiring to witness so many people come together behind this challenge, brought about through a partnership between CO-OP, MasterCard and OpenIDEO.

Participants contributed 310 research posts and 136 distinct ideas. Ten different credit unions shared their guidance and experience during our workshops. In San Jose, Denver, and Rancho Cucamonga, OpenIDEO, CO-OP and our partner credit unions came together for lessons in design thinking and financial innovation, brainstorms and prototyping sessions. We hosted participants across the age spectrum as well as many non-credit union folks, from authors to entrepreneurs. It was great to see everyone work together to develop innovative products and services for older members.

It’s been a bit of a whirlwind, but we’re excited to say that after carefully considering many truly excellent contenders, we’ve narrowed the list to five finalists for the $10,000 THINK Prize. Here are the best of the best:


All Generation Friendly ATM

Originator: Freddy Shimabukuro, Pueblo Libre, (Lima), Peru, in collaboration with the Peru Chapter of the OpenIDEO Community.

Idea: The Friendly ATM will give credit union members more confidence when using ATMs by allowing them to take time when setting up transaction details while they are at home. Once transactions details are confirmed, the transaction will be automatically brought up then next time the user logs-in to an ATM. This will minimize the time that credit union members spend in being vulnerable at physical ATM locations.


The “Not So Retired Life” Podcast

Originator: Rachel Rosenbaum, Detroit Michigan

Idea: This initiative seeks to empower individuals over 50 years old to re-frame the way they approach retirement so they can live a long, fulfilling life, in a financially-sustainable way. This proposed podcast will share stories of the real experiences of people in their late careers/early retirement. The plan calls for leveraging local journalists, entrepreneurs, credit-unions, and/or communities to find initial sponsors and interviewers.


Originator: Natalie LeRoy, Chicago, Illinois.

Idea: This initiative seeks to help those over 50 who are looking to relocate or change their living situation to reflect their current life circumstances. Through a web and mobile platform, “Rightsize” will help users develop their ideas about retirement, housing and lifestyle and transition them into reality. Users are able to build a fiscal profile and check in with a self-guided map, get relevant information from the news and other users, as well as connect to resources and services.


Incubator Club for Credit Union Members

Originator: Lillian J. Warner, New York, New York. Warner is among a team of graduate students from New York University, under the tutelage of Anne-Laure Fayard, Associate Professor of Management in the Department of Technology Management and Innovation.

Idea: This team proposes an “incubator” for credit union members over 50, where they can pursue their small business dreams and connect with their community. In this way, people in this age group can remain active, develop a project they always wanted to work on and help someone by providing expertise. The club will provide support, resources and networking opportunities to its members.


Leverage Trust to Create Personal Pensions

Originator: Wingee Sin, South San Francisco, California.

Idea: This initiative seeks to create personal pension products for individuals and distribute them via credit unions. It will support the dreams and obligations of 50-plus consumers by creating a steady income stream from their earlier savings. It will leverage the credit union client relationships and physical distribution network to offer individualized pension plans at scale.

The THINK Prize team has been floored by these ideas and the work behind them, and we can’t wait to see these ideas progress in our final phase. We’re also grateful to the 10 credit unions that attended and helped with our workshops, the participants who contributed 310 research posts, 136 ideas, and more than 2,000 comments, and the 493 followers who kept up with our progress.

The $10,000 THINK Prize 16 will be apportioned among the five challenge teams at a later date, during the fifth and open-ended Impact phase of the challenge. Additionally, winners will be fast tracked to hackathons and industry events, and may be enrolled into CO-OP’s innovation initiatives for 2017, which will include guidance and additional support. Thanks so much to everyone who contributed to the challenge. Please stay tuned for more as our top five ideas move into their final phase of the Challenge.


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