Banqer, the interactive financial education platform for kids, has launched a new feature that brings the money conversation home. Banqer parents are now able to help their children grow money savvy through the Parent Portal.
Educating kids about money and how best to manage it often boils down to simplistic messages about budgeting pocket money and understanding how debt works, but research suggests financial decision-making depends as much on our personal values, emotions and family experiences too.
The way we interact with money is pretty complicated, so to help create a future of savvy financial decision makers, Banqer has added a new feature, the Parent Portal, that helps parents connect with what their kids are learning with the cloud-based software.
Financial capability begins at home
Financial capability is the knowledge and skills children (and adults!) need to make good, informed money management decisions. From everyday skills such as balancing a bank account to long-term planning for retirement, personal financial capability includes a range of money topics.
If peers are their only information source, kids can easily get the wrong message about money. For instance, your child might hear a classmate say that rich people are lucky – a common enough saying.
But if they believe that wealth is indeed a result of luck instead of hard work, what motivation will they have to handle money responsibly?
Parents and guardians should be the primary educators when it comes to teaching young people the skills they need to build a strong foundation for financial competence, but having those conversations can be difficult. Banqer’s Parent Portal aims to change that.
It’s been proven that parental behaviour – like discussing financial matters with your children – has a positive impact on their financial behaviour as they move into adulthood. So, discussing money around the dinner table can help your kids build an awareness of the importance of financial independence. Unfortunately, a lot of us avoid talking to our kids about money – often because we lack confidence in how we’ve handled our own finances! But it doesn’t have to be this way.
You don’t have to be a financial genius with a perfect track record to get the money conversation started.
In fact, talking about your finances might highlight the fact that you could be organising yourself better and will inspire you to be a better financial role model. You might not know how interest works, and your credit card might be a source of stress, but you can still provide accurate information, spark interest, and help empower your children to take control of their financial lives.
Entering the Parent Portal
Banqer believes that the more financial touch points in a child's life, the better. With this in mind, they created the Parent Portal as a way to keep parents updated on the financial education their children are learning in class. Banqer chose schools as a place to introduce financial education to ensure that all children, regardless of their background, would gain sound comprehension of how to manage their personal finances, but according to Kendall Flutey, Banqer’s CEO, parents are still an important part of that conversation.
“We wanted the learnings to extend back home for reinforcement, co-learning opportunities, practical real-life application of financial concepts, and even just the sharing of stories." She says,
"The more financial touch-points we can give our kids at this age, the better prepared they’ll be for the future.”
Each parent has their own login to the Parent Portal, where they receive daily updates on how their child is progressing. In addition to seeing where your kids’ money is going, the portal offers parents dinner table talking points based on what modules they’ve recently learned.
Teachers and parents can also talk directly to each other, sending comments or updates anytime you'd like. For Kendall and her team at Banqer, parents can only be a part of their child’s journey in the classroom if there’s transparency over what is being learnt. “Personal banking is almost too personal as it stands. Think about the first time you created an online transaction. You probably did it by yourself, fumbling your way through."
"We want to allow the kids to share, make mistakes, and learn while we have the opportunity before the risks that come with real banking.”
There are currently just under 1,000 parents in the parent portal at this stage, but Banqer wants to increase this number to 15,000 by early 2018. Parents who are registered are engaging often, with many raving about the comparative stats and transactional insights Banqer offers. In the dashboard, parents can go into the Capabilities section to see a breakdown of how their child’s class is tracking. This is where there can see stats such as how many students have been actively engaged in retirement schemes and what percentage have experienced paying property expenses to name a few. Parents can also see how their kids are earning and spending their money.
For example, attending a science lesson can earn them $20, while renting their desk can cost them $200 per week.
For Banqer, breaking down the cultural barriers related to talking about money is vital to their purpose and something Kendall is very motivated by. Getting these conversations started is part of the positive change the company aims to create in New Zealand, and then the world. And the parent portal is helping do that by kick-starting a conversation about personal finances between parents and their children.
If you’re a parent and your child is using Banqer at school, getting involved is easy. Simply ask your child's teacher to give you access to the parent portal and they'll sign you up. Just like that, you'll have access to new insights and key learnings to help support your child’s financial education and kickstart some interesting dinner table conversations.
Want to find out more? Read how Kiwibank and Banqer are working together to support the next generation of Kiwis on the Banqer site. You can also find out how to get Banqer and interactive financial literacy into a classroom you care about.