Top Five Ideas Announced for CO-OP THINK Prize 16: The Financial Longevity Challenge

Participants from 133 Countries Contribute to Fintech Ideas Addressing Needs of Aging Consumers

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. – CO-OP Financial Services is announcing the five top ideas for its CO-OP THINK Prize 16: The Financial Longevity Challenge, with contributions from on-line design teams centered throughout the United States and as far away as Peru.

“One of the goals of our Challenge is to get consumers talking about credit unions,” said Samantha Paxson, Chief Marketing Officer, CO-OP. “And, the final participation numbers from around the world are amazing – the current Challenge attracted nearly 20,000 sessions from interested parties in 133 countries, with more than 500 active participants.”

Launched in mid-October, the CO-OP THINK Prize 16 is being conducted by CO-OP in partnership with OpenIDEO, an online global innovation community and collaborative platform, and co-sponsored by MasterCard. The Challenge addresses the question: “How might we create financial services that support the dreams and obligations of those 50 and older?”

A $10,000 prize will be apportioned among the five challenge team leaders at a later date, during the fifth and open-ended Impact phase of the Challenge, fostering continued collaboration on the ideas.

The five top ideas range from innovative new concepts for ATMs to personal pension products to self-help podcasts, Web sites and clubs. The OpenIDEO on-line design teams were headed by collaboration leaders from California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, and Peru.

The leading ideas were selected from a judging panel of OpenIDEO staff and CO-OP and MasterCard representatives, and include (listed alphabetically by the originator’s last name):

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The OpenIDEO collaborative format follows a five-step process including Research, Ideas, Feedback, Refinement and Impact. The CO-OP THINK Prize has been held annually since 2011, and is designed to inspire creative thinking and solutions to issues confronting credit unions and their members. For more information on the Challenge, visit