There is a new(ish) start-up/app called Acorns that rounds up your purchases and takes that extra change and invests it in stocks. These are pennies and nickels that, if we still used cash, would jingle around in our pockets until we throw it in some never-to-be counted or used 'change box'.
While the Acorns app may not be appropriate for all communities, their concept and business model bring up several interesting questions for me:
Can we harness pennies, nickels and small change for financial empowerment?
Will people be interested in some sort of savings account for those seemingly insignificant rounded up purchase amounts?
Can we use technology to teach people about investment strategies - specifically mobile apps?
Can we find ways to use technology to connect communities in data (financial) tracking, gamified ways? What would that social component look like? Could we build something akin to the Fitbits/Jawbones of the world that encourage competition (but, in this case, around financial success)?
Food for thought...