The Cooperative Bank Launches Pilot with Aging Finance Startup Carefull

The deal is the first formal partnership announcement coming out of the inaugural cohort of the Alloy Labs Alliance’s Concept Lab accelerator


Doctors have said for years that the first place you can spot dementia is in the wallet. Research conducted by experts from Johns Hopkins and the Federal Reserve Board of Governors recently confirmed this, and now a community bank in Massachusetts is doing something about it.


The Cooperative Bank, a $482 million asset community bank based in Roslindale, Massachusetts, has formed a partnership with New York-based technology startup, Carefull. Carefull can identify elder abuse, fraud, and even early signs of cognitive decline by using artificial intelligence to review customer transactions.


The partnership launches in October. It will enable TCB’s customers to benefit from the findings generated from Carefull’s technology, which identifies real time customer and market behaviors. Those findings are then translated into timely, actionable content pieces that will be shared with TCB customers through the bank’s website.


The partnership between the bank and startup was formed in the Alloy Labs Alliance’s Concept Lab program, which is designed to incubate new products and services between banks and startups that go beyond merely “re-plumbing” the bank.


The Alliance is a consortium of innovative community and mid-sized banks. Through the Concept Lab, The Cooperative Bank (TCB) worked with other members of the Alliance to identify opportunities to deliver outsized value that customers don't normally expect from their bank.


“TCB is not alone in having a large aging population among our customer base,” said Peter Lee, the executive sponsor and SVP, Chief Information Officer for the bank. In the process of identifying problem statements, several other banks in the Alliance acknowledged that creating differentiated solutions for older clients was important. “We knew, at least on a high level, that the market was there,” Lee said. “The opportunity to dive deeper into our hypotheses is what drew us to the Concept Lab.”


In the Concept Lab, participating banks work with technology startups to perform customer discovery, gather data, and run experiments that help them build a business case for new products that aren’t currently being offered by other banks.


“The Concept Lab has given our company a unique opportunity to explore new distribution channels and partner with banks who want to address the challenge of aging and generational wealth transfer,” said Carefull co-founder Todd Rovak. “We’re excited to work with bank partners to bring safer, smarter tools for financial caregiving to customers and their families.”


TCB’s President and CEO, John Battaglia, saw potential in the partnership early on. “As a board member and volunteer for a local elder care organization, I understood the need for the kinds of services Carefull provides first hand,” Battaglia said. “TCB is dedicated to serving our community, and we think there’s a great opportunity for this partnership to benefit some of our most vulnerable customers.”


In addition to Aging, the Concept Lab is incubating partnerships around small business financial automation, gig workers, and healthcare. To learn more about participating in the Concept Lab, banks and technology firms can contact SVP of Product, Samer Saab, at samer@alloylabs.com.


About Alloy Labs Alliance

Alloy Labs is a consortium of community and mid-sized banks that work together to partner with startups, identify opportunities for differentiation, and make strategic investments. Alloy Labs also operates The Concept Lab, a reverse accelerator that helps banks cement relationships with startups, and the Alloy Alchemist Fund, which invests in startup partners. For more information visit alloylabs.com.


About The Cooperative Bank

Founded in 1898, The Cooperative Bank (TCB) is a full-service community bank committed to meeting the financial needs of individuals, families, and small businesses. Offering up-to-date products, competitive interest rates and the highest quality personalized service. TCB has assets totaling $480 million and provides banking services to over 8,400 customers.

With cutting-edge personal and business banking services, TCB aims to serve and be Boston’s Neighborhood Bank. Specializing in residential & commercial real estate and business lending throughout Massachusetts, TCB has branches in Roslindale, West Roxbury, Charlestown and Jamaica Plain. For more information, please visit www.thecooperativebank.com, or call 617-325-2900.


About Carefull

Carefull is the first digital platform built to protect the daily finances of older adults, along with the 45 million U.S. adults managing the daily finances of an older loved one. Founded in 2019, Carefull's technology integrates senior-specific financial monitoring, identity theft protection, communication, and how-to content, replacing the ad hoc paper pile, spreadsheets, bill stack and hold music that today greets adults caring for someone else's money. Carefull believes that creating safer, smarter tools for financial caregiving isn't only about money. It's about relentlessly simplifying the awkward tangle that happens when money and family come together. For more information visit www.getcarefull.com.