THINK Prize 16: Bring Fintech Innovation to a Forgotten Demographic

THINK Prize 16: Bring Fintech Innovation to a Forgotten Demographic

THINK Prize 16: Bring Fintech Innovation to a Forgotten Demographic


The CO-OP THINK Prize is back! CO-OP THINK Prize 16: The Financial Longevity Challenge, co-sponsored by Mastercard, will focus on finding innovative technology solutions that meet the specific challenges of aging adults. The challenge will once again be part of the OpenIDEO online collaborative platform, where credit union leaders and a wide audience of innovators and consumers can share and contribute.

The Demographic that Fintech Forgot

“There are many fintech solutions in the market geared toward the millennial generation,” Samantha Paxson, Chief Marketing Officer at CO-OP, says. “However, these solutions are often outside the technology scope of the aged and could pose more harm than good towards the goal of protecting their financial assets. This year’s Challenge focuses on the economic impact of the aging population – specifically, the importance and increased relevance of financial services.”

Indeed, aging doesn’t represent a single financial challenge: It represents many. People are living longer and more active lives. Aging parents can maintain their independence well into their nineties, but may need help that isn’t easily available through traditional financial services. Family and career demands pull the attention of younger baby boomers in many directions. And while financial technology might offer some solutions, it generally isn’t geared to the unique issues that aging consumers face.

How the CO-OP THINK Prize 16 Challenge Works

How might we create financial services that support the dreams and obligations of those 50 and older?

If you have a perspective to share or an idea to contribute on this subject, join the challenge. A $10,000 prize will be divided among up to five individuals who offer the best ideas in response to the Challenge question.

The Challenge will progress through five phases over the next three months or so, based on OpenIDEO’s crowdsourcing format. The first four phases are:

  • Research: Now through October 30: Anyone can share personal perspectives and examples on the challenge topic.
  • Ideas: October 31-November 27: Submit and comment on new ideas.
  • Feedback: November 28-December 4: During this short Feedback phase, approximately 25 ideas will be selected to go into the Refinement phase.
  • Refinement: December 5-December 30: Selected ideas will be refined and built out by the idea authors and their teams.

On January 12, 2017, the five top ideas will be announced, based on a judging panel of OpenIDEO staff, and CO-OP and Mastercard representatives. After that date, the Challenge will remain live for a fifth phase, Impact. Here, the community will continue collaborating and sharing progress.

New for 2016: Collaboration Training Workshops

During November and December, CO-OP will host a series of collaboration training workshops for credit union employees. These workshops will be co-sponsored by Mastercard. These half-day sessions will be led by OpenIDEO facilitators and Credit Union Innovation Fellows who have been working with CO-OP and OpenIDEO on this initiative. Dates and locations are to be announced, and inquiries can be directed to

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. The 2015 Challenge attracted nearly 15,000 visitors from 138 countries. More than 500 active participants collaborated on a number of issues and ideas, ultimately leading CO-OP to recognize five outstanding ideas with the 2015 THINK Prize.

Do you have a perspective or an idea to share? The THINK Prize Challenge is already up and running: Click here to get started.