Luxembourg Tech School (LTS) recently organised a special phygital hackathon aimed at helping older people overcome technological barriers.
Over the past few years, the use of digital financial services has increased dramatically, making our lives easier, faster and more productive. Globally, the number of people aged 60 or over has more than doubled since 1980, and the share of older adults is projected to double again by 2050. Digital solutions are on the rise, yet such services are often not adopted by older generations due to lack of trust or technological knowledge. 
In response, the LTS, an extracurricular educational programme supporting the development of future digital leaders, hosted, alongside its main financial education sponsor Fondation ABBL pour l’éducation financière and other partners, a special phygital hackathon for LTS students with the aim of developing digital financial services for older people.
From 2 to 4 July 2021, 25 participants joined forces, immersing themselves in this two-day intensive hackathon, half online, half in person at the LHoFT, to help older people embark on the journey of digitalisation. This special hackathon was sponsored by Fondation ABBL pour l’éducation Financière and supported by the LHoFT, the Luxembourg Red Cross, Help and Vodafone. 
The school students, aged 15 to 18, impressed the audience members with their creativity, ingenuity and care in tackling the hurdles associated with the adoption of technological solutions amongst older people. In 48 hours, they designed and prototyped digital financial products to help older people overcome these barriers and keep up with the pace of change via digital applications, gamification, voice-overs and smart UX design. 
Each of the seven teams was supported by the LTS coaches and a range of specialised mentors coming from the finance and technology industries, as well as those facing the reality of digital barriers for older people. 
On the Sunday afternoon, the students pitched their ideas in front of a jury composed of Claude Marx, Director general of the CSSF, Vesna Trtic, Principal Manager Technology Operations at Vodafone Roaming Services, Jessica Thyrion, Financial Education Adviser at ABBL, Catherine Bourin, Member of the Management Board of ABBL, Chloé Kolb, Communication Officer at the Red Cross / Help, and Alex Panican, Head of Partnerships and Ecosystem at the LHoFT. 
After intense deliberation, the three winners were:
  1. CyberLearn (€1,600 prize money)
  2. Credit Chicken (€900)
  3. Bank Assist (€500) 
Catherine Bourin stated: "The Fondation ABBL pour l'éducation financière fully supports this initiative. The financial sector is developing rapidly and digitalisation is a key challenge that needs specific skills. We strongly believe that financial services should be accessible to all, including senior citizens".
Sergio Coronado, Founder & Chairman of LTS, added: “An important element in education is the context. We want our students to develop solutions for real societal and business issues. Making financial digital tools easier and more trustworthy to access for our senior citizens is an increasingly important social topic. With the impressive projects presented by the young participants after only 2 days of intensive work, we have successfully shown the industry that innovation and quality is possible at a young age".
Alex Panican, Head of Partnerships and Ecosystem at the LHoFT, concluded: "With the rise of the fintech sector in Luxembourg and the digitalisation of the financial services, the difficulty for seniors to access those services is becoming a problem. This hackathon was the perfect opportunity to sensitise the young generation on the matter but also to involve key stakeholders from the industry: CSSF, ABBL, Luxembourg Red Cross, Vodafone, FNR and the LHoFT. As always, the variety of ideas and solutions developed by the students over the weekend, from AI assistants to banking tools, was impressive. Congratulations to the Luxembourg Tech School coaches, the next generation of digital leaders is ready to tackle serious problems".