Open Financial Systems

The Open Financial Systems portfolio designs new solutions for generating, owning, accessing, sharing, and transacting everything from data to money to goods.

Open Financial Systems The way we define, send, and store value is fundamentally changing for the first time in several millennia. Technology has shifted financial systems—but value hasn’t been equally distributed. As we extend financial services into rural and emerging markets, we’ve pushed up against the boundaries of what organizations, private or public sector, can solve alone. How might people all over the globe move fluidly between digital and physical money? How might we enable global participation in the digital economy?

Portfolio Themes


How might we inspire loyalty and trust between people and organizations in the shift to digital money systems?


How might we design for digital and physical transactions at scale in rural and emerging markets? How might we design for fluid transitions between digital and physical money (cash-in-cash-out)?


How might we enable better reputation, credit and access platforms for global participants in a digital economy?


How might we leverage emerging technologies to scale financial services and connectivity globally?

Is your organization interested in working with CoLab’s Open Financial Systems portfolio? Contact us to find out more!

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Updates from the Open Financial Systems portfolio

Emerging technology has allowed us to restructure trust. By empowering individuals to control their own finances, we can activate new populations to join and steer their local economies. In this prototype, mesh networks take the place of wifi and traditional connectivity to grow a local economy in rural Maine.

To keep up on the latest news, check out our recent articles and videos here:

Open Financial Systems | IDEO CoLab on Medium

Our Other Portfolios

Circular Economy Collaborative Cities Dynamic Workforce

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