CANSTAR Youth Banking award-winner, ASB, wants kids to get wise with their money – and the ASB “GetWise” program is helping them get there! Since its launch in 2010, the ASB GetWise program has benefitted more than 380,000 school students in close to 1,200 schools nationwide, including 495 schools in rural or non-metro areas. In a Q & A with CANSTAR, Roger Beaumont, ASB Executive General Manager Marketing & Communications, explains that the goal of the program is to reach 100,000 students across New Zealand each year. Some other insights shared by Roger are as follows:

Q: What was the original motivation for setting it the GetWise program?
“We recognised that the world of finance was becoming increasingly complex and children needed to learn basic money skills and establish good savings habits at a young age,” says Roger. “We launched the ASB GetWise financial literacy programme to help young people make better financial decisions and raise financial literacy levels in New Zealand school children.
Our ASB GetWise programme provides four different workshops that have been created by a leading panel of education experts in cognitive development, instructional design and financial literacy. They are specifically designed for students at each developmental stage.
Teachers are provided with resource packs to help them to provide on-going financial literacy lessons.”

Q: Money is often seen as a rather dry and boring topic, but your facilitators seem to really engage the kids. How do they accomplish that?
“ASB GetWise is based on a highly interactive workshop model and aims to inspire and engage students by making basic financial skills learning exciting, relevant and memorable,” says Roger. “Financial literacy concepts are delivered by our facilitators through special characters (such as Captain Cashtastic), interactive games, story-telling and audience participation. The results are summarised in this feedback GetWise received from Henderson Valley School:”

‘The feedback from staff has been all positive. The Junior teachers have loved the “Needs and Wants” approach for the younger children. The costume and voice changes kept them engaged and learning from start to finish! The senior teachers were equally impressed saying the programme was delivered extremely well with relevant and up to date content which engaged all the learners. Well done ASB GetWise, thank you for the opportunity to have this wonderful programme in our school’. – Henderson Valley School
See an example of ASB’s GetWise workshops.

Q: What types of funny feedback do you receive?
“Our ASB GetWise facilitators often ask the question in our workshops: where does money come from? This results in some interesting answers particularly from our younger students. Answers have included:
“The Tooth Fairy”
“Dad’s pocket”
“The tray in the car”
“The hole in the wall” (referring to an ATM)

One student believed that his Mum was paid to do the supermarket shopping. This was because she regularly got cash out when completing her transaction at the check-out. This demonstrates that children observe a temporal relationship between two events and they simply put the two together. This has been made even more complicated in the digital age, where payments are largely invisible, putting even more importance on financial education.

ASB is CANSTAR’s 2014 Youth Banking Award winner. Read the full Youth Banking report.

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