Kiwibank has announced it will continue to support online financial literacy platform Banqer, with another round of funding announced.
This is the third year the bank has funded the digital teaching tool. The boost will see 3,300 Kiwi classrooms access the platform for free in 2019, a significant increase from the 2,100 classrooms in 2018.
Banqer transforms classrooms into a virtual economy. The idea is that primary school teachers set up a currency and facilitate real-life situations over the course of the school year to enable students to learn about growing money, debt, interest, tax, KiwiSaver and insurance. The programme is aligned with the New Zealand curriculum and designed by teachers for teachers and students.
“There is nothing else that measures up to the impact Banqer has for Kiwi kids’ improved understanding of money,” Kiwibank marketing manager Mark Wilkshire said. “Analysis shows us there is a marked difference in student’s money behaviours from the start of the programme to once it is completed. These attitudes and positive money behaviours will benefit students for the rest of their lives.”
Currently, Banqer has an average of 26,412 transactions per day, $302m is currently invested in KiwiSaver, 15,693 properties have been purchased and 14,494 job vacancies have been filled by students. On top of the universal income, 45% are earning wages, 20% of students are making voluntary mortgage payments when they have a surplus of cash, 47% are actively looking at interest rates and moving money about to grow their wealth.
“Through Banqer, more than 60,880 Kiwi kids are currently engaging in robust financial education and that number will only grow as we continue to invest in this ambitious programme,” Wilkshire said.
Banqer co-founder and chief executive officer Kendall Flutey, meanwhile, stated: “At that point, we’re at a scale where financially capable kids will really make a difference to New Zealand’s economy into the future.”
Kiwibank first teamed up with Banqer in 2016 with the goal of having 1,000 New Zealand classrooms using the platform. Currently, more than 100,000 children have used the programme and it is now in one of every four New Zealand schools. The organisation has also expanded in Australia.
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