SOUTH BEND, Ind.-Teachers Credit Union here is looking to rollout a teen-friendly money management app called "$ My Way" that it developed in less than two days.

"This app allows parents to manage their child's account and monitor activity to help teach them good financial responsibility," explained Teachers Credit Union's Vice President of Information Technology, Dan Rousseve.

$ My Way was created during an event hosted earlier this year by PSCU Financial Services. The event that was initially billed as a "Hackathon" but was later described as a more of a game of "KnockOut." It took place over two days at PSCU's headquarters in St. Petersburg, Florida. In total, 87 participants comprising 21 teams competed, with a few teams attending virtually from Arizona and Michigan. The teams were challenged to develop some sort of software solution/idea in that short time. Among those in attendance were semi-finalists Finance Center Credit Union and Interra Credit Union. Those credit unions formed Team Revelation and were recognized for a smart-receipt tracking system (see related story, page 13).

"The conference had an environment of excitement and creativity, enhanced by the rapid nature of the agenda and the competitive challenges it presented," said Teachers Vice President of Operations, Duane Wilcoxson. "We developed a cross-functional team that took elements of strategic development from our various departments in order to provide a comprehensive knowledge and skill base to form our team."

Team Formula 501 was comprised of Rousseve, Wilcoxson, Vice President of Finance and Treasury Todd Brown, Assistant Vice President of EFT Sandy Henderson-Burd, and Assistant Vice President of Marketing and Research Tara Holloway.

 

Using Baseline Focus

"Prior to the conference, our team identified elements we wanted to include in our concept, such as mobile capabilities, social media and other emerging technologies that appeal to emerging demographics," said Halloway. "We used that baseline focus to hone our concept into a usable, appealing product while at the Hackathon.

Added Henderson-Burd, "The innovation conference was a great opportunity for our team to take some time to focus on one concept and one product to benefit the credit union industry."

The panel of judges consisted of Matt Kerper of Google Payments Business Development; Donna Terman, MasterCardGroup's head of innovation management, and PSCU's EVP of Credit Union Experience, Fredda McDonald; EVP of Credit Union Solutions, Tom Grande; and VP of Innovations and Product Development, Denise Stevens.

"Employees from the credit unions participating in the KnockOut as well as employees of PSCU were given the opportunity to vote for the grand prize-winning team across several categories including feasibility, ease of implementation, market fit and growth potential," said Brown. "Following the conference, we were notified on Nov. 9 that we had been selected."

 

Next Steps for $ My Way

While the app was primarily designed as a financial management tool and conduit for parents and their children, Rousseve explained that social media will also link to the overall program. "This will give users the ability to integrate the application into their daily lives appealing to the emerging demographic. There has been some limited focus group work testing the appeal of different aspects of the program."

In the coming weeks and months, Team Formula 501 will meet with the PSCU Innovation and Product Development Team to officially kick off the $ My Way project.

"The next step will be for PSCU to gain a deep understanding of the product, how it works and what it will take to incorporate $ My Way into their solution portfolio," said Wilcoxson. "We will then collaborate on a pilot, beta version of $ My Way when it is ready for implementation."

Rousseve said the app will be scaleable, intuitive and will not require training. "One of the basic requirements for this application is that it be completely user-friendly. We want this app to fit seamlessly into the financial lives of teens, while incorporating the parental influence into that equation."

With $2.2 billion in assets, 282,000 members, 725 employees and 49 branches, Teachers CU hopes the app will be accepted and widely used. "We have experienced an incredibly positive response from our own team members, as well as other credit unions and industry leaders," said Rousseve. "Everyone is very excited to see the finished product and begin rolling it out to credit union members."

 

 

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PSCU Inviting Teams To Compete In 'Hackathon'

Hackathon' Inspires Collaboration, As Well As Some Knock-Out Ideas

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