Competition opens to find solutions to key challenges facing vulnerable consumers

Michael Lloyd

June 19, 2018

Entries have opened today for the Innovating for Ageing initiative, created by the independent think tank the International Longevity Centre – UK (ILC-UK) and specialist financial services firm Just Group.

ILC-UK and Just Group received over 80 submissions setting out problems faced by vulnerable consumers in later life from businesses, the public sector, charities and individuals.

They analysed the submissions to create a shortlist of 20. Today, the competition opens for start-ups, innovators and solution finders to come up with creative solutions to these problems.

Stephen Lowe, group communications director at Just Group, said: “The range of issues put forward highlights how keen organisations are to work with others to find better ways to help people as they move through later life.

“Now that we have highlighted some of the key problems in this shortlist, we encourage innovative and creative thinkers to help find technological and policy solutions.”

David Sinclair, director of ILC-UK said: “Organisations as diverse as BT, NS&I and Leeds City Council face a range of challenges but share a common need to engage with and help support their vulnerable customers in later life.

“By bringing together such an assortment of companies and industries, and putting them in front of some of the smartest tech and business minds in the country we hope to find a different way of approaching and tackling vulnerability.”

Organisations and individuals from the shortlisted 20 will pitch their ideas to a range of creative thinkers from the solutions community at an event today at Campus London, Google’s space for some of London’s newest and brightest businesses.

Solutions can be submitted until August 12 with an awards ceremony in the Autumn where winners will present their ideas. Prizes for solution finders will include professionally made promotional videos, branding consultation and specialist development support.

The shortlisted problems were grouped into six categories to reflect common issues suffered by vulnerable consumers – end of life planning; identifying vulnerability; digital exclusion; isolation and loneliness; money matters; and a final “surprise us” catch-all category.

Examples of shortlisted problems include: how to reduce pension scams, submitted by The Pensions Advisory Service. Over £200m was stolen from pension savers by investment fraudsters in the 12 months to February 2018.

Other problems include: how to identify and best serve vulnerable customers who ring call centres, submitted by BT. One BT customer called BT’s customer helpline more than 700 times in four months, resulting in £24,000 worth of unnecessary engineering call-outs.

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