Start-up secures second round of Kiwibank funding

by Krizzel Canlas19 Sep 2017
Kiwibank has again funded start-up money app, Banqer – a financial literacy tool to be used in low-decile schools.

This is the second year that Banqer received financial backing from the bank, according to a report from the NZ Herald.  

Founded by accountant turned developer, Kendall Flutey, the app allows students aged 6 to 13 to create an account through a simulated bank where they can earn virtual money and learn about income, expenditure and tax.

Through the app, students get a weekly salary from their teacher, earn interest, pay expenses such as rent on their desk, and can even buy property and insurance, the report said.

The goal was to give young Kiwis a taste of the kind of financial decisions adults have to make, Flutey said.

“That's good for them and the New Zealand economy, because boosting kids' financial literacy is a big step toward addressing many of the economic issues we're facing in this country, such as inequality, poverty and lack of opportunity,” Kiwibank economist Zoe Wallis told the NZ Herald.

The tool was developed after Flutey learned her 11-year-old brother’s impressive financial literacy, and discovered his teacher had created a virtual classroom economy using spreadsheets.

In 2015, she proposed to build a higher-tech version of the virtual classroom – now Banqer.

Initially, the app was used by teachers, was spread by word of mouth and is now used by more than 30,000 children, which is around 30% of primary and intermediate schools in New Zealand, Flutey told the NZ Herald.

“When I developed it I literally just thought it would be used in my brother's classroom. I didn't think it would be on a scale like this,” Flutey said.

Banqer has 100 schools signed up in Australia and is running trials in the United Kingdom. The app is expected to expand to 60,000 children by June next year in NZ after receiving financial backing from Kiwibank, Flutey said.

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