Story image

Kiwibank invests in financial future of young Banqers

07 Apr 17

Virtual economies occupied by thousands of students around New Zealand are thriving in Banqer.

The breakthrough new programme is now in the hands of more than 30,000 primary school students thanks to Kiwibank funding 1000 classrooms’ subscriptions.

The online education programme answers the need for core financial skills in young New Zealanders. Giving them the advantage of being well equipped when entering the trials of financial life.

Banqer co-founder and developer Kendall Flutely says being in such a large number of classrooms is a huge milestone.

“It demonstrates demand for financial education in schools, and affirms that there is appetite for the solution we’re providing.”

The growth they’re experiencing is tracking far ahead projections for the year and is “any startup founder’s dream”, says Flutely. Now she wants to hear from more schools ready to get onboard.

“Having 1000 classrooms involved is a great achievement. We’re already looking to extend it further to ensure Banqer is an educational tool accessible by even more New Zealand kids, so we’re keen to hear from more schools and teachers that want to get involved.”

Teachers can customise the settings in Banqer to that best help their class learn, setting up the economy, costs and earnings for their students.

Financial situations like the ongoing cost of hiring their desks, or spending money on classroom parties, teach kids the real world responsibilities of money. Teachers can also trigger events that affect the virtual economy, like natural disasters and sudden rises in interest rates.

Kiwibank chief economist Zoe Wallis says this investment in upskilling the next generation will benefit the real economy later on. With more people making better financial decisions, the virtual boom could well translate into an actual one.

“We simply have to confront the fact that, right now, we’re not up to the mark in terms of understanding money and making good financial decisions.

“Many New Zealanders don’t seem to fully understand the trade-offs associated with spending beyond our means. For example, we’re in debt with the rest of the world because we spend more than we save.”

Apiti School teacher Nicki Fielder say she’s been blown away by the way students are using the programme.

“They are highly motivated and learning how to be financially literate at the same time. It’s an authentic way to learn, practise, challenge oneself and consolidate an extensive range of skills and competencies.”

Reception of the programme so far has been very good. With the numbers rolling in, Banqer will soon be able to roll out to around 15,000 students in Australia.

Schools interested in participating can pay a per-student subscription or apply for Kiwibank sponsorship.

IDC: Smartphone shipments ready to stabilise in 2019
IDC expects year-over-year shipment growth of 2.6% in 2019, while the world's largest market is still forecast to be down 8.8% in 2018.
52mil users affected by Google+’s second data breach
Google+ APIs will be shut down within the next 90 days, and the consumer platform will be disabled in April 2019 instead of August 2019 as originally planned.
New app conducts background checks on potential tenants
Landlords and house owners need to obtain a tenant’s full name, date of birth, email address, and mobile number in order to conduct the search. And most importantly, they have to get the tenant’s permission first.
GirlBoss wins 2018 YES Emerging Alumni of the Year Award
The people have spoken – GirlBoss CEO and founder Alexia Hilbertidou has been crowned this year’s Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) Emerging Alumni of the Year.
IDC: Standalone VR headset shipments grow 428.6% in 3Q18
The VR headset market returned to growth in 3Q18 after four consecutive quarters of decline and now makes up 97% of the combined market.
Meet Rentbot, the chatbot that can help with tenancy law
If you find yourself in a tricky situation  - or if you just want to understand your rights as a landlord or tenant, you can now turn to a chatbot for help.
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) finally releases on PS4
PUBG on PS4 feels like it’s still in Early Access as the graphics look horribly outdated and the game runs poorly too. 
How AI can fundamentally change the business landscape
“This is an extremely interesting if not pivotal time to discuss how AI is being deployed and leveraged, both in business and at home.”