OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

Observing an elderly lady talk to another lady during my bus commute

Today I observed an elderly lady talk to another on how she keeps forgetting everything. That helped me envisage a potential service for 50+

Photo of Adhish Patel
1 4

Written by

Today during my bus commute I intentionally sat behind an Old lady and her friend. Just to observe her. As observation is one of the key aspects of understanding the user.

She kept on talking normally to her friend about the things going on in her life. I was listening but not paying careful attention. Until, one particular thing caught my attention. On one previous night, she forgot where her car was? Paying careful attention to the talk, I came to know how distressed she became as she had parked her car at another bus stop and she got down on another. She and her friend laughed over this talk, but for any observer, this is a point to be noted. She also talked about how she keeps on forgetting little things. (Note: This is not related to Alzheimer's) Memory loss is one of the main signs of aging. And as an elderly, this can become a serious issue. 

For Financial institutions, here is a problem to be solved. What if financial institutions like Banks, Credit Unions, help in aiding elderly when to pay their bills or actually assist in paying bills. There are online systems in place for them to pay bills online, a significant % of that age group between 50-65 might even be using it. But what for 65+, these people need financial services as well. Why not have some sort of Bill reminders in Monthly statements personalized to the client? Modern IT solutions can really help in personalizing monthly bank statements, why not use them to customize for every client of yours? This will not only help 65+ but also the age group from 50-65. As google says, "We are trying to create an individual google for each one of you." With the same technology, why can't financial institutions create personalized experiences? Monthly reminders, checklists on the monthly statements can help elderly organize their bill pay along with their banking.

What is a provocation or insight that might inspire others during this challenge?

Why not create personalized banking services for each client? Like providing a checklist to elderly in the banking statement, whether they paid their gas bill, phone bill, electricity bill. This system might help to keep monthly cash flows in one single statement.

Tell us about your work experience:

I have worked in the Innovation & Entrepreneurship sector. I have experience in Design Thinking and have also worked in the areas of sustainable technologies and innovation.

Specifically, please check all that apply:

  • I'm not currently involved in a credit union, but am curious to learn more!

1 comment

Join the conversation:

Photo of Kate Rushton

Hi Adhish! 

Thank you for your post. How would the bill paying differ from direct debits? Are there disadvantages to the direct debit system that your service would cover e.g. additional security checks?