VIENNA, Austria - October 5, 2020 – Who wants to be ahead when it comes to financial matters has to start early! That is why BAWAG P.S.K. has joined forces with the social enterprise Three Coins, which develops educational formats for more financial literacy, to design a financial quiz for children aged 6 and older supporting with the first steps in their financial lives. Each child can complete the free "Safe&Cool" check on the BAWAG P.S.K. website, either independently or together with their parents. "Those who know and understand basic economic and financial terms and who deal with their own income and expenses at an early age have a clear advantage. We not only want to transfer financial knowledge with the quiz, but also promote the dialogue between parents and children on how to handle financial matters," explains Enver Sirucic, CFO of BAWAG Group.
The "Safe&Cool" check with its 10 questions provides children with the first basics for sensible consumption and saving behavior, but also information on how to handle personal bank data safely. Furthermore, basic knowledge about general financial matters, simple bank transactions and the pocket money account is tested in a funny and playful way. The check is also designed as an introductory quiz to all "Safe&Cool" pocket money accounts at BAWAG P.S.K. to provide children with the first basic information on how to handle money safely in the digital world. Among other things, pocket money accounts have the advantage, that parents are always able to keep track of their children’s transactions through a free digital banking access and are informed about their children's financial behavior.
"Financial competence is a behavioral competence and essential for a good life. Behavioral patterns are established at a young age, which makes it even more important to start at an early. This initiative has been developed in such a way that it introduces the first steps in a responsible handling of money to children from the age of 6 up in a playful and humorous way. The „Safe&Cool“ check is also a good springboard for parents to dive into the topic with their children from various points of view“, comments Goran Maric, CEO of Three Coins.
Study: Strengthening financial education is important for parents
For many people financial education is not always just a "parent's job": Although the majority of parents (91%) see it as their responsibility to teach their children in general on how to handle money, 7 out of 10 parents would like to have more support from schools in teaching economic and financial topics, according to a study by BAWAG P.S.K. and the Austrian Bankers' Association. Banks (58%) rank second, followed by other family members (27%). At the top of the wish list is the transfer of knowledge about economic correlations at schools for 68% of parents. Almost 4 out of 10 parents also want their children to learn the functions of loans and forms of financing at school. So far, according to the parents' survey, for almost half of the children (49%) the banks had taken over the responsibility for transferring knowledge about banking products, and for 43% about the functions of loans and forms of financing. According to them, parents can seldom draw on the "full potential of their school education" when it comes to educating their children on financial matters, as only 6% of parents have received their know-how at school itself.
Various initiatives in recent weeks indicate that the wishes for more financial education in schools will soon be heard: For example, economic and financial education topics are to be increasingly incorporated into the curricula of Austrian schools and a national financial education strategy is to be defined by the end of 2021. "We welcome educational initiatives in this direction and will also make our own contribution as a bank, for example through the new financial quiz. After all, education is still the best investment in the future and has a positive influence on how money is handled," Sirucic comments.
Manfred Rapolter (Head of Corporate & Commercial Communications, Spokesperson)