RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (5/19/11)--Matt Weidler. information technology asset coordinator of Evangelical Christian CU, Brea, Calif., is the winner of the first annual CO-OP THINK Prize and recipient of $10,000 for his idea for mobile phone ATM access. Three finalists in the new competition presented their ideas to attendees of THINK 11 in Anaheim, Calif., April 17. In addition to Weidler, finalists were:
* Shari Storm, senior vice president, chief marketing officer at Verity CU, Seattle, for her business plan for the Squirrel smartphone application; and * Candace Vogelsong, marketing specialist at Community Powered FCU of Newark, Del. Her business plan proposed an industry cooperative for social media so individual credit unions would not require dedicated staff.
The award was presented by CO-OP Financial Services and CO-OP THINK Prize sponsor MasterCard. Weidler's idea of cellular ATM access is at its core a customer convenience initiative allowing members to use ATMs through a second mechanism of their choice in case they forget their debit card or prefer not to carry it with them. His video presentation related the many times he has headed to the ATM and had to turn around because he didn't have his debit card with him. He asked why not be able to access the ATM via his mobile phone, which he always has with him. "One of the key criteria for the CO-OP THINK Prize was impact," said Caroline Lane, senior vice president, business development and marketing for CO-OP Financial Services. "His idea clearly resonated with the competition voters." Finalists were selected by judges from CO-OP Financial Services and the Filene Research Institute based on four standards: impact, creativity, aggregation (or application of the idea across the industry) and implementation (or the ability to be adopted quickly). Entries for the CO-OP THINK Prize for 2012 opened Wednesday. For more information, use the link.