Tech tools designed to teach young people about money

  • 19 Jun
  • 2 min

According to a recent survey, Americans tend to overestimate their knowledge of financial matters. A number of tech startups have set out to help them learn more about this subject from a young age.

Fully 44% of all United States citizens polled believe they have a good or even excellent level of financial education, reveals a survey conducted recently by financial sector research and consultancy specialist Raddon. Nevertheless, less than half of those respondents were able to pass a test designed to assess their ability in this field. In fact, 84% of all US consumers have never taken a finance course or followed any form of financial education whatsoever. However, FinTech companies and banks have everything to gain from dealing with better-informed clients. This is precisely why quite a number of financial sector firms nowadays offer advice and assistance alongside other services, just as Credit Karma and Mint help their users to improve their credit score and consequently boost their solvency. And since learning comes easier to the young (is this a proven fact or just an old cliché?), some startups are directly targeting children and teenagers and offering to teach them the basics of finance through practice. For instance, the app developed by Skratch is aimed at high school students looking for little jobs such as dog-walking, wrapping Christmas presents and training a sports team. The platform helps teens to find a job and then get paid within two-to-three days. This is a good way to enable youngsters to get used to the idea of earning money and learn to manage a budget – or at least that's what this social innovation startup intends. PiggyBank, whose app is currently undergoing beta testing, has very similar ideas. The young Portland-based company has set out to provide parents with a way to pay their children for the chores they perform, so as to teach them the value of hard work and money. The kids will receive the fruits of their labours on their credit cards at the end of the month. As they grow up, the members of this cohort will become increasingly attractive to FinTech and InsurTech specialists at moments when they need to take financial decisions with a bearing on their future and will have to put their trust either in a traditional provider or a new player. That's why these days lots of young firms are targeting Millennials. Oval Money, for example, has integrated social functionality into its investment app that enables young people to share advice and suggestions. And when you think that this generation is set to become very soon the wealthiest cohort of all time, companies are likely to take an even greater interest in them.

By Sophia Qadiri