Leading platform provider netwealth launched a financial literacy campaign this week, looking to bring financial education to the classroom through an interactive tool aligned with existing school curriculums.
Banqer, designed by a New Zealand start-up of the same name, will be made available to 15,000 Australian students, fully funded by netwealth. Banqer imitates online banking portals to educate children around financial concepts, while integrating with existing classroom programs to improve financial literacy, organisational skills and increase student engagement.
Students perform classroom tasks or services to earn virtual money which they can choose to save, spend, invest in property in a simulated real estate market, allocate to desk rental repayments or insurance payments in case of a virtual natural disaster triggered by the teacher, or even contribute to superannuation.
Netwealth co-managing director Matt Heine said the project is an extension of the platform provider's own purpose.
"Netwealth was created to provide investors and wealth professionals with a better way to invest, protect and manage their current and future wealth. We seek to enable, educate and inspire people to see wealth differently and to discover a brighter future," Heine said.
The program is already used by about 10% of New Zealand's Year 1-7 students, with 28 schools around Australia also already participating.
The program is the brainchild of New Zealand school teacher Micah Hocquard who taught the younger brother of Banqer chief executive, Kendall Flutey.
"Banqer helps kids get curious, creative, and ultimately, confident with money. It has been embraced by kids and teachers, but is also transcending geographical borders as we all start to understand financial literacy is a global challenge," Flutey said.
Heine said championing the initiative was a great way for netwealth to support Australia's young people.
"We're all really excited about the Banqer partnership and it's great to be able to contribute back to the community in our own little way," Heine said.