Each year CANSTAR researches and rates the youth banking and education products and services on offer by New Zealand financial institutions. This year ANZ has proven itself top of the class, with an impressive suite of products and services for the junior and youth markets.
We were impressed with the range of educational material offered by ANZ to teach the kids all about money, saving, spending and banking, in general. Savings and budget calculators are available and, of course, as the kids get older and have a better grasp of personal finances, they are taught about Kiwisaver, plus loans and credit.
In light of the win, CANSTAR caught up with Ana-Marie Lockyer, General Manager Wealth Products and Marketing, ANZ for some insights into financial literacy and our youth.
Q: Congratulations on winning the CANSTAR Youth Banking and Education Award. What are the benefits for kids in becoming financially literate at a young age?
A: Knowing how to manage your money and save for the future is a key life skill. The earlier kids become familiar with financial concepts, the more likely they are to have a positive relationship with money in later life. It is also important given that more than 365,000 children are in KiwiSaver and improved financial literacy at a young age will help them start saving earlier, hopefully leading to a healthy first home deposit and a more comfortable retirement a very long time into the future.
Q: Technology continues to change the face of banking, and our kids are digital natives. What opportunities does new technology have for enhancing kids’ understanding of money issues?
A: Kids are using ipads and computers from a very young age. They are used for interacting with information rather than just reading words. Our websites, apps and social media communications channels all provide a more dynamic way for kids to learn more about saving and investing. Digital tools like our KiwiSaver calculator or ANZ goMoney app all provide opportunities for kids to learn about money in an interactive way.
Q: What are some of the most important money lessons for children to learn?
The value of money is the first lesson – things cost money, they don’t just come from mum and dad. This then leads naturally to the importance of saving to buy the things you really want – it is often more satisfying to buy something you have saved for and dreamed about for a while. This in turn leads to the basics of budgeting – learning that you can use some of your pocket money for sweets, but you can also save some for bigger purchases or treats in the future.
More and more parents are now opening KiwiSaver accounts for their kids. Children also need to learn that there is money behind every purchase whether they can see it or not in our “cashless society”. It is important that when kids are allowed to press the green “ok” button at the supermarket to pay for this week’s groceries that they know you still need money in your account to pay for this.
Q: Is there one financial lesson that your parents taught you that stands out in your mind?
“Start putting away money early through school banking and part time work – that way you will have some when you need it”. This lesson led me to work hard and develop good savings habits so I had some funds for the wants in life, of which there are many.
CANSTAR congratulates ANZ for its CANSTAR Youth Banking and Education Award win. Readers can download the report here.