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Co-op students co-design and co-develop digital solutions as part of the new TD Lab focus

TORONTO, Dec. 10, 2020 /CNW/ - TD Bank Group (TD) has launched a new Student Budget Calculator, designed and developed in TD Lab, TD's innovation hub, in collaboration with students, to address key post-secondary challenges: understanding the cost of school and associated expenses, and how to effectively save, budget and prepare for them.

This is the first digital application stemming from TD Lab's focus on collaborating with university and college students to design digital tools that meet their unique needs. The Lab's "for students, by students" approach is supported by the introduction of a website that allows university students to interact with prototypes and provide feedback on ideas.

"With the support of an innovative team of developers, designers, business analysts and co-op students, TD Lab develops data-driven banking solutions that focus on key challenges and opportunities to create better user experiences," says Chris Halabecki, Leader of TD Lab, located in the Communitech technology hub in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario. "In response to a growing need to look at the unique financial challenges of post-secondary students, we shifted our strategy to focus on solutions for students. From ideation to prototyping to development, students are part of the process – testing concepts, sharing insights, and through our co-op program, helping build and design the types of digital solutions they want to use."

TD Lab's Student Budget Calculator helps students understand the costs of their post-secondary education and living expenses by breaking down the estimated costs and contributions, and providing averages as a guide based on user input, including:

  1. School: Annual tuition for their program of study
  2. Housing: Costs of living at home, in residence or renting off campus, including expenses like hydro, insurance and internet
  3. Expenses: Common expenses like groceries, going out, phone plan and textbooks, along with an option to add custom categories
  4. Contributions: Money available for the school year may come from scholarships, bursaries, loans, savings accounts, a job or other
  5. Results: Students can see the difference between their costs and contributions, and visit the TD Student Hub for additional information and tips

The Student Budget Calculator provides a highly visual experience, with two, side-by-side bars that update in real-time to help students see how costs add up against their savings or income. Students will get personalized tips and insights for navigating through their school expenses. The tool is available in English, French, and Chinese languages.

During the prototyping phase, TD Lab engaged a targeted group of 50 university students for focus groups and testing sessions. Once a prototype was ready, the tool was tested with more than 300 students at Wilfrid Laurier University, and their feedback helped refine the mobile-friendly Student Budget Calculator that's available today.

"It was exciting to be a part of the creation of the Student Budget Calculator, and to see something I had a hand in building come to life. What impressed me most about this project is that it started as a Lab hackathon idea and grew from there. As students, our ideas really do count," says Charly Bax, a former TD Lab co-op student from the Carleton University Commerce program.

TD Lab will continue working with students to identify and create experiences to help make banking easier, more intuitive and more applicable to their daily lives. Visit for a portfolio of other prototypes and proofs of concept created by TD Lab to help solve for key challenges in student budgeting, money management and investing.

About TD Lab

Established in 2014, TD Lab is an innovation team within TD that is focused on experiences "for students, by students" that look at the unique financial challenges of post-secondary life. Located in the Communitech hub in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, its talented team combines a mix of developers, designers, business analysts and co-op interns that use data-driven research to design and develop user experiences using agile sprint methodology and human-centred design principles.

About TD Bank Group

The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively known as TD Bank Group ("TD" or the "Bank"). TD is the sixth largest bank in North America by branches and serves over 26 million customers in three key businesses operating in a number of locations in financial centres around the globe: Canadian Retail, including TD Canada Trust, TD Auto Finance Canada, TD Wealth (Canada), TD Direct Investing, and TD Insurance; U.S. Retail, including TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank®, TD Auto Finance U.S., TD Wealth (U.S.), and an investment in The Charles Schwab Corporation; and Wholesale Banking, including TD Securities. TD also ranks among the world's leading online financial services firms, with more than 14 million active online and mobile customers. TD had CDN$1.7 trillion in assets on October 31, 2020. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades under the symbol "TD" on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges.

SOURCE TD Bank Group

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