How Financial Institutions Can Focus on Financial Literacy This School Year

posted on Thursday, September 7, 2023 in SHAZAM Blog

Financial literacy is the ability to understand and effectively use various financial skills, such as savings, budgeting and paying off debts. People who are financially literate have a strong understanding of how money works and set themselves up for a lifetime of success. 

The knowledge and experiences bank or credit union staff have gives your financial institution an opportunity to set kids up for financial success. Teaching kids how to manage money can directly benefit a bank or credit union through increased customer engagement and brand loyalty from kids and their parents. 

Financial Literacy for Kids 

Start saving. Savings is the most important financial habit to teach early on. One way your financial institution can get kids excited about saving is by using a good old-fashioned piggy bank. Personalized piggy banks with your financial institution’s logo are a fun way to get them excited about saving money. 

Kid-friendly accounts. A piggy bank is a savings vehicle for younger children, but when they hit elementary school, encourage parents to set their children up for a healthy financial future by opening a kid-friendly savings account. It’s a way to instill the importance of gradually building up their balance and an introduction to the banking industry.  

For Teens and Young Adults 

Early high school years mark significant financial transitions for teens. They may be earning their own money with a part-time job and are likely to have more wants and needs, leading to more expenses. As parents give their teens additional roles and responsibilities around the house, this logic should also apply to their financial needs.  

Add a checking account. A joint checking account can be a great step for teens on the path toward financial independence. This type of account allows teens to take ownership of their money, while under the watchful guidance of a parent co-owner. This type of account allows teens to check their own account balance, use a debit card to make purchases and ATM withdrawals and more. These are critical financial skills for older children to learn before they leave for college or leave the nest. 

Be true to your school. Supporting financial literacy in schools sets the groundwork for financially responsible adults. Connecticut, Louisiana and Oregon are the most recent states requiring high schoolers to take a financial literacy course before graduating. Financial institutions can partner with local schools to either bolster or offer financial education programs and resources, such as guest speakers, workshops or online learning modules. Additionally, consider sponsoring financial literacy events, like competitions or fairs, to further engage students and the community. 

Teaching the basics of borrowing. Young adults are increasingly facing financial challenges, such as student loan debt and the rising cost of living. To support this demographic, your institution can offer financial services targeted at their specific needs, like affordable student loan refinancing options or first-time homebuyer programs. Consider leveraging digital channels, such as social media and mobile apps, to deliver engaging and accessible financial education content to help this age group differentiate between good and bad debt. All of this helps establish a good credit score. And a good credit score potentially gives accountholders better rates to help save money in the long run.  

Resources available 

Financial literacy doesn’t stop after graduation. SHAZAM offers many learning opportunities to keep your staff informed about what’s happening in the payments industry and how it affects your accountholders.  

Our client learning team helps bank and credit union staff sharpen their skills through numerous webinars and online recording offerings. Here’s a list of learning opportunities coming up in September.  

The SHAZAM Speakers Bureau highlights the latest trends in payments technology, simplifies the complexities of the regulatory environment and offers ideas and tools to maximize your institution’s potential. Any one of our speakers would be happy to share their expertise at your next event as a keynote, general or by leading a general breakout session, workshop or panel. 

SHAZAM, Inc. and ITS, Inc. provide this blog for general informational purposes only. Our blog may be shared by a direct link wherein the content remains as originally presented and has not been altered. SHAZAM, Inc. and ITS, Inc. assume no responsibility for errors or omissions in the contents on the blog. By using this blog, reader agrees that the information published does not constitute nor is a substitute for legal advice which should only be sought from a qualified, licensed attorney. 


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