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FinTECHTalents 2021
March 24, 2021, Online, USA
FinTECHTalents 2021
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Fintech Talents North America - Focus on ageing: Financial services for longevity
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  • Description
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About the talk

Topic: FinTech

About speakers

Ramsey Alwin
President & CEO at National Council on Aging
Theodora Lau
Founder at Unconventional Ventures
Holly Pontisso
Vice President Customer Experience at Scotiabank

During her career, Ms. Alwin has worked with federal agency officials, Congressional staff, state and local policymakers, local agency authorities, national associations, and industry to promote an economic security framework. Alwin has been featured in major media including The Wall Street Journal and New York Times and has testified before Congress

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Theodora (Theo) Lau is speaker, writer, and advisor, whose work seeks to spark innovation to improve consumer financial well-being and health. As founder of Unconventional Ventures, she focuses on developing and growing an ecosystem of financial institutions, corporates, entrepreneurs, and venture capitalists to better address the unmet needs of consumers (e.g. older adults), with keen interests in women and minority founders. As part of her work, she regularly mentors and advises FinTech startups; she is also recognized as LinkedIn Top Voice for Economy and Finance, and Top FinTech influencer by various publications including Onalytica, Retail Banker International, and FinTech Finance. She co-hosts Rhetoriq, a podcast on longevity and fintech, and runs a weekly blog on Irish Tech News. She is a frequent contributing writer and speaker for top industry publications and conferences.

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Holly Pontisso has been working in the technology and communications industry for over 20 years in various leadership roles in both sales and marketing. Currently leading the consumer marketing group for Cogeco Connexion, Holly is transforming the way the organization acquires and retains its customers by developing an integrated approach to marketing, sales, service and support. Holly is a results-focused leader, building teams that deliver above expectations and this has been proven in the consistent performance turn-arounds that Holly has delivered in her career. Holly is an MBA graduate from the Rotman School of Business and has received numerous awards in her career, including the top 125 Bell Heroes award, recognizing the top 125 employees in the history of the company. Holly is currently completing the Program for Leadership Development at Harvard Business School. She is passionate about the United Way and has led many employee campaigns and served as Chair of the GenNext board in Toronto.

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Good afternoon, and thank you so much for joining us here at Syntex Helens. North America. My name again is Theodore allow founder of unconventional Ventures. Now for this session will be talking about one of my favorite selects, the intersection of financial services and Longevity since the early 1930, Healthy Living Years live in changing, how we work and where we work, and we've also changed how we earn a living. But yet what about our relationship with money? As for financial institutions,

my question to you is, what is your relationship with your customers as they get older and as they enter and exit different life stages. Let's start by introducing our panelists. First. We have a long time. Good friend of mine runs, eoin, president, and CEO at the National Council on Aging Ramsey. Would you like to tell us a little bit more about you'll carry and conceal ways mission? A pleasure. Thanks for having me feel so I'm proud to return to the National Council on Aging and organization

that is near and dear to my heart. This is my second tour at ncoa a national nonprofit focused on improving the lives of millions of older adults, especially those struggling. My career has been nonlinear. I've had many opportunities to look at issues related to finance having been at wider opportunities for women. Spend some time at ARP on the global stage. Looking at Global longevity Trends, and the impact, and implications for financial resilience. And also at ncoa, my first Tour of Duty, overseeing all of our Economic Security Programs. I'm so pleased to be bringing this

experience to Bear now as the new president and CEO. Where were really looking to ensure that we are offering program services and directing our policy, advocacy to ensure all can age. Well, they have access to the health and economic security. They We're really elevating the conversation around aging. Well, as a social justice issue, it is so pleased to join you in today's conversation. Thanks for having me. Thank you, Ramsey. I next we have Holly pontes o vice president of customer experience at Scotiabank. Holly would you like to introduce yourself?

Sure. Thanks so much for having me. I feel it's a real honor to be here with Ramsey today to talk about this important topic, Maya background at Scotia is leading our digital migration and to a new platform where we designed it for Simplicity. I'm for all of our customers including for seniors. I'm so this has been a really important topic Frost and, of course, over the last year is being even more important, as covid has really been changes in consumer Behavior. So, I'm really excited to be here today.

Thank you, Holly. And thank you both for being with us. We do have lots to talk about and may I ask one thing all three of us? We have something in common and yet this is not a women and Integra women in finance. So I'm just say, I am thrilled about that before we start though. I do want to remind an audience that please put your questions or comments in the chats as we will try to respond this weekend. Been out first, the stats and we all know it right? Ten thousand Americans turn 65 on a daily basis and individual every two days

United Center in Chicago, sap Center in California. Being filled with people celebrating their 65th birthday. Lots of birthday candles. About 2020 for one and for American workers will be 55, plus now it would seem to be obvious that we need to reframe the notion of getting older and living longer. And what that mean. I mean, I remember a colleague of mine and Ramsey she used to tell me we all get older, the minute we were born. Seems the truth. But yeah, if you do a Google search on Aging, most of what you would see is that a physical

Decline and time and time again, we keep hearing people referring to the notion of digital Natives and how old people do not use technology worse. They put the entire cohort of over fifty into one single buckets, as if all of us live a homogeneous life with all the thing needs on the same life experiences, which would like to kick us out with a little bit of that myth busting. It would be my pleasure. Absolutely. You think about it? We've got 78 million Boomers in the United States and they are aging their way new and different nonlinear past. We have

90 million Millennials that are aging their way. We're all experiencing things differently. We are are taking time for caregiving going back to school, having job transitions, having children later first-time, home purchases later. Everything looks a little bit different than it may have for our grandparents. This more as nonlinear experience is allowing us to live life. Our way to experience that needs in terms of what we would like to achieve in life that fulfillment that purpose crafting, our own navigating, it our way, but we need

products and services that can better help us do just that and it's not just individuals that are aging today. The average 10 year old is likely to live to be at least. Hundred. And so, what we should be taking from this new normal, with older adults, today is an opportunity to revisit how we create products and services and recast them for the noon or no longer. Is it a three-stage life, where you spend time, getting your education working and then retiring with the golden wash to the contrary, we're moving in and out of different, career, paths here, giving lifelong learning as

individuals today and future Generations, will have the same experience. And if this pandemic has taught us anything, we're all far more reliant on technology, volume and FaceTime, and blue jeans at every new platform in the book. And that goes for older adults to. They're jumping online for for various reasons to connect with family, to connect with Community senior centers at the National Council. On Aging that have moved all their programming online, and older adults have jump to it. Depuy, 42%, have adopted smartphones. 67% of older adults,

have internet access. It's a basic need that like water and electricity, and even more so dollars, the Money Follows the need and the interest you've got a long jevity economy where individuals over 50 simulate 9 trillion dollars worth of economic activity, 7.6 trillion of which is a direct spend. And what's really powerful is when you break down the numbers and look at what they're spending on technology alone in 2018, a hundred and forty billion dollars in technology for themselves or their loved ones. And by 2030, that's

expected to increase to 270 billion dollars worth of direct spend on technology. We really need to look at this opportunity and make sure we're crafting products and services that meet the needs of this demographic that are experiencing The New Normal and want to use the latest greatest technology. I, I can't agree more. I remember recently. I read a report from the UK that talks about how so many order do touch up paint online and they're creating their own mouths. The classes and teaching people. Do you know, the life skills that they had. And so this notion

of people are scared of technology or they're reluctant to try something you cannot before. This is the truth and Holly. I know that you had some reports to share about the changing customer Behavior. Yeah. We we really believe that these widely-held fixed use of seniors are really a barrier to serving seniors as it often leads to really a misinterpretation of their needs and wants that. I I think that's about the drop that we can fall into some of the great stops that you mentioned. Ramsey singers are getting online and seniors are shopping

online. More and more. We saw that in banking as well. So during the pandemic, we saw a 200% jump in Mobile Banking registration. And a lot of those were in the seniors category and we start, we've also seen that a recent survey from noventa said, that only 40% of customers are going to go back to the branch banking on what we saw at Scotiabank was obviously a massive left in in Mobile Banking, registration and an online banking registration and the majority of that growth was from from senior. So I see it is. Our

responsibility is to think, you know, to make it to make online banking more acceptable. And what we did to do that with through education, sort of overcoming, some of the barriers to entry such as fear of security. That was, that's one of the big ones in the, in our senior population. So it's about sort of finding the barriers to entry on digital Banking and Helping Seniors as one of our Arc group that we serve at Scotia. Thank you. Holly. Now, I cannot begin to recall how many times I've been told by both incumbent

Banks startups, or even investors that solutions, that cater to the worst ivanhoe's actually by someone who shared the stage with me on a panel that their Bank don't design for old people. I've also been told off stage by Banker. We already have their money. Why do we need to do anything for them to me? I think that's a missed opportunity. And when we think about opportunity to serve isn't just about what adults hate and unpaid caregivers, family caregiver, neighbors, 1/4. These caregivers are millennials, so it's not just about and it's not just about retirement is not

just about that trillion-dollar of wall transfer, but Water opportunity from planning a savings eating Malaysian, safeguarding us after. What have you? And it's not just about one goal as multiple goals over the life. Course in Franzia, learned as still as a non-profit. What is your message to the financial services industry? Start up. So I can come visit. What would you like to see happen? I think that pandemic is an incredible opportunity that really lays bare the importance of putting the consumer at the center because you're

absolutely right individuals have different needs. And it's a key moment in time to make sure we're really listening and understanding the different pain point, the challenges, the life moments that individuals are experiencing and what they need in order to provide out the inevitable volatility of life. It's not if they're going to have a financial challenge. It's when and how they have the tools and resources to provide the resilience that they need in order to ride it out. Women are a great example. I think typically the financial services industry has seen women as wrist at first to the

contrary when you really listen when you really unpacked, women do have those multiple goals that you talked about feel. I want to be able to stay for my children's 529. Take care. Of my parents in old age when they need in-home services and support. I want to make sure I have the resources. I need just in case that day comes, when I have to hold the burden on my own whether it's divorce or loss of a spouse. And I want to leave a legacy. I want to transfer. Well, so I have these multiple often competing goals. And so it's an opportunity for financial services, because it's so Nimble

to really begin to unpackage what those needs are and put the consumer at the center and design. We're flexible relevant. Hopefully, competent tools that can meet our needs in light of our new normal, which is volatility is inevitable. We need to build our own resilience and we need to think holistically about all the assets. We have financial and non-financial. And there's definitely a row that's financial institutions can play. So how late let's talk about that Senior Center at the bank. To know what prompted that program and what is the bank plans to achieve with that?

Yeah, and everything. Quit Ramsey's touching on is the feeling of empowering, our customers to take control of their finances, and to bank themselves and to build up the confidence. You have the courage to overcome some of these challenges and and ask for help. And the reason why we put together the senior center is because we recognize this need in the senior. We have a whole array of supportive information. This craft is specifically for seniors ranging from how to get the most from Modern baking channels 3. To avoiding fraud frequently asked questions from Seniors and

really managing your money back during know. Especially during this this covid crisis in confidence about building trust and helping them the transmission online and to get the most from from their banking services. The other. The other thing that we did that was important during during the past year, as we launched. Make your way which is an information portal that helps customers set up their online and mobile banking for the first time and then learn a lot of the many tasks and transactions that they can now carry out through their digital devices. And so they can do things like

checking their about, learn how to check their balance, or how to check your account history. And it's building up this basic confidence, in Outer Banks, that leads are, you know, of this, this demographic to overcome some of these challenges and I think, even even when branches, do, you know, when, and our life returns to normal? But I think these types of skills will stick with our fears. So we will still see them coming into the branches to get graded by face to face from our advisors. So, it's about building confidence. It's for information. And

forming than we know that there's a high level of fraud, online fraud, with with her, are seeing your customers. So, it's really about building that confidence. I should be able to manage. You know, that the volatility that Ramsey talks about. Yeah, I like that a lot. It's about meeting your customers where they are, right is not so much. So always just one channel versus the other. There are as many different tools that we can use straight from in person to, you know, using digital tools that we can, we can use to service our customers and a

disproportionate impact on communities of color and women on older adults. One of the questions that we often have now spent a year into into the pandemic. And hopefully we see a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel. We need to start thinking about, how do we build back better? How do we create a more inclusive and Equitable future for all? And how can we get people to slacks and continue flexing, their creative muscles, and develop more inclusive solutions for this big growing cohort that's represented and

under-represented and run Z. I want to get both of your take on it. What are some of the things that bangs and fintech startups can do what are some new initiatives that both of you and barking on? And how can we ride this momentum and help the different communities recover and recover better? Remember you want to start? Great. Well, the pandemic certainly has laid there. Those long-standing disparities and and there's such an opportunity for financial services to work with nonprofits. That have deep deep Community ties to the populations. That were

disproportionately impacted adults over 80% of those 60 deaths due to cope with those 65 and older, fortunately communities of color, and that the results of long-term issues in terms of access to public health access to income and income support and assets and community-based organizations that are deeply connected to these populations, have long known that and are interested in co-creating with industry, new accessible, tools, and resources to help build that income, build those assets that can provide that resilience, and that buffer.

And some of these challenging times has been an incredible accelerant Wetherbee, adoption of Technology do to online groceries or Telehealth. Just connecting via various platforms, but it's also been an accelerated demonstrating public and private Partnerships at the National Council on Aging. We partnered with various private sector leaders to create the age. Well, planner age. Well, planner. Org as a platform that we've made available to help individuals assassin, a very comprehensive way there, a variety of complex issues. They're going to need to navigate as they age and to ensure they

age. Well, with curated this decision support tool to help with the information and the activation needed to make the right decision. We worked with private-sector leaders. We've worked with nonprofits. We deploy through community-based organizations including senior centers area agencies on aging and directly to Consumers and it provides that accessible free platform for individuals that are looking for trusted and trustworthy support as they navigate the inevitable. What cities of Asian, we need more public-private Partnerships? We need more Innovations. We need

more culturally competent, digital platforms to help individuals, because they're out there often on their own, and they need help cutting through the noise. And Holly. Yeah, I think we've really anchored our customer experience around advice and we believe that everyone deserves personalized advice to meet their financial goals. So by focusing on really this core concept of advice for all, I'm including communities that are under Bank, we believe that we will open up and

deliver for all of our customers. From an inclusive perspective, on the digital side. We're really focused on I'm delivering banking experiences that are simple that are safe and secure Solutions. It stalled, all of our customers immediate concerns and help them improve their financial Fitness, on the Branch Banking side. We're really focused on inclusive hiring to make sure that the people that we hire is reflective of the communities that we serve you. No one in all ranges of of diversity. And I think over the coming years were we really want to Foster

that. A human connection and particularly in an environment where people are coming in to the to the branch as often as before. So, we're looking at things like video technology, and connecting, folks security through through digital channels to have more in-depth discussions on the name, might be traditionally used to and I and I think this all relates back to building the confidence of our customers to bank with us, but also to come in and speak with us because we know that in order to give great advice. We need to connect human-to-human with all of our communities, including the

underbanked to provide them with the solutions that they need to be financially secure and and to have a great financial plan in place. So we're really looking at the future of being very collaborative with our customers. I'll buy all of our channels to to enable that that Financial advice and helping some of the sky the financial future of all of our communities. Holly, what is just that resonated with me? I recently heard from a credit union and then in the US, that mentioned that when it comes to building personal relationships, right? When it comes to giving

advice, even younger generation. And she cited a study that even the genzies they would prefer to do certain transactions and the bank in person because you cannot replace a human to human connection. And a lot of times, you know, being able to see someone be able to touch someone. That's what bills too, cuz that's the handshake. And that doesn't change what the screen. I wish I could reach through the screen right now. But you know, so I think I really do like, what you just talked about the aspect of inclusion diversity is

beyond, gender is also age and at the perspective of including people, and what's important to them as as your customers. What would be your message Holly, to our audience, since a fairly diapers from different positions in financial services as different roles when it comes to creating digital Solutions, right? For older adults and caregivers. What should they keep in mind? I think it's about thinking thinking about accessibility as a wide spectrum of

human capabilities and experiences. And I think if you are really open and you challenged the internal biases that that many of us have and I think seniors fell prey to this especially challenging those biases to be open to really truly understanding our customers needs. It will lead to better Solutions whether it's digital Lauren branche. And then the second thing is we were really focused on designing acceptable thinking. Seuss's through an inclusive design approach, which is very iterative, very collaborative with many different customer

group. And what I, what I what I think one of the good things about covid is that it is pushing the financial services industry to break through those barriers between Remote and digital between no fur for different accessibility needs because we can't have people coming to the franchise has often enter, really challenged yourself in and push ourselves to deliver for all of our customers and sifting through what that means today, which is very different to what it meant, a year ago. That's why I did design and, and, and thinking about

inclusiveness, and accessibility is critical for seniors, and for serving all of our customers and in all of our communities. And it's really, really important that I challenge all of the bank. So I think this way to put away your internal biases, really thinks we're customer need and use that as the foundation for development for your products. M-44. How you say, how do you serve customers? Thanks, Holly that to your call to action to our colleagues around 2 before we close. I have two things. One is I recently noticed the equity promised that has

put together is one of the most favorite things. I've seen. It seems so It's something that we should have been doing all along. Right? Can you tell us a little bit more about the reasoning of why you put the equity promise together and what it is. Sure, will, at the National Council on Aging, we've committed to improving the lives of millions of older adults and we recognize that there are certain demographic groups that have always been left behind left behind without the quality of years of a quantity of years that we all hope for the

report forwarded Equity promises are commitment as a National Organization working with the public sector, the private sector and the thousands of community-based organizations. We partner with every day to be intentional and deliberate in targeting Solutions and policy. Advocacy goals that will ensure women communities of color individuals, with low income, lgbtq and Rural populations have access to the same health and economic security, but everyone deserves so that they can have the gift of longevity. We know that certain programs and certain products and policies over the years,

have left, these individuals behind in financial services. It's the unbanked in the health world is various social determinants of Health. Have not been addressed. And so we've made a commitment by 20-30 to improve the lives of at least forty million older, adults, by calling for systemic change change that will address some of these inequities nrar promised speaks to some of the strategies and policy goals and the framework that will be using to ensure that deliberate intentional approach to make sure all have the opportunity to age. Well, there you have

it before we close Ramsey. What would be your call to action for industry for both incumbents and startups? How can I be more intentional and serving this demographic and what should I be doing? Well, I Echo Holly sentiment make a human Center use. Those Universal Design tools and Frameworks. You put the individual at the center and then you will find the pain points. And the opportunities, I think about curb cuts on the sidewalk and the approach to create curb cuts on the side walk walk. Where originally for older adults to help ease them in crossing the street

strollers and skateboards love curb cuts to the put the older adults with the older. Adult of color. Put the low-income older adults at the center of the design process to ensure a seamless user experience. The ride out, the inevitable volatility and you'll find what works for that. Will work for everyone. So use that approach the human at the center, and use this pandemic as an opportunity, to just catapult forward, a new crop, digital products. And services, that can help people The New Normal is being connected. People want to have the luxury in the

flexibility of using digital platforms when it works best for them. So I think it's a tremendous opportunity for Finn text to innovate, and partner with new, and different organizations, and entities to develop relevant timely products and services. I love that loud before we close. Sorry, go ahead and call. I know I just like to add onto Ramsey that the one thing I would say is also challenged yourself as an organization, to take the time to find ways to educate your customers on how to take advantage of those great

products and services that you're designing by taking the time to really educate your customers in a multi-modal way so that you're dressing. All types of learning. It's really worth that investment in time to help your customers. Their make that lead to find out all of those find those grades. And then we, we really found a lot of success than that and taking that investment and and and get helping our customers, get online to see them. I Echo that and I would also challenged Sheriff. Entech, Founders to think broader. You might be creating a solution for Gig economy workers. And you

might have your notion of who these gig workers are, but more often than not a growing. Number of these gig workers are older adults, right? So broaden your Horizon and think broader the audience that you could be serving, or you can be starting a centech payments company. That's looking as putting two checks between friends that are going out to dinner or friends that are sharing the flat. And guess what, that perk, that solution could also be repurposed for caregivers for adult children that are taking care of their parents. So there is so much that we can do if we're willing to

open our eyes. I just think broader. Now before we close, And to those who have been on my panel with know that I have a favorite thing and lightning round. I like to do. So, here you go. I would like to get three words from each one of you to describe the future of longevity. Do you want to go first? There's no right or wrong. Answer. Inclusion, Humanity digital. Ramsey. The future of longevity. Equitable. Fair and prosperous. Love that now. And to quote, you Ramsey, you said?

Aging, well, as a right and not a privilege. So we all have a role to play, doesn't matter what role you hold in. A financial institutions, doesn't matter. If your income been orphaned text ride up, all of us, as Global citizen. We all something that we can do to make the world better and more Equitable for everyone. And thank you for all for being with us today. Stay tuned with us for the next session. So stay with us on the impact stage, and we'll see you next. Thank you so much.

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Ramsey Alwin
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