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.

Royole's FlexPai: So bendable phablets are a reality now
A US-based firm called Royole is delivering on that age-old problem of not being able to fold up your devices (who hasn't ever wished they could fold their phone up...)
Hands-on review: Having fun in Knowledge is Power: Decades and Chimparty
They don’t revolutionise social video gaming, but they are enjoyable enough to occupy you during a wet weekend. 
Kiwis losing $24.7mil to scam calls every year
The losses are almost five times higher compared to the same period last year, from reported losses alone.
Tile's Mate & Pro Bluetooth trackers land in NZ
If your car keys (or your tablet) have disappeared into the void at the back of the couch or if you left them somewhere in your car, retracing your steps to find them could be a thing of the past.
Government still stuck in the past? Not on GovTech's watch
What exactly is GovTech and what’s been happening in our capital city?
"Is this for real?" The reality of fraud against New Zealanders
Is this for real? More often than not these days it can be hard to tell, and it’s okay to be a bit suspicious, especially when it comes to fraud.
Hands-on review: The iPhone Xs
The iPhone Xs is a win that brought numerous new and exciting features to the market.
How much does your Amazon Prime Video subscription really get you?
For our NZ$8.90 per month, the average cost per title is US$0.00126 - but we only really get a choice of 416 TV shows and 4321 movies. Choice is a little bit limited compared to other countries.