Smart Money Management App Founders Urge Focus On Financial Literacy For Youngsters
MENA Youth At Risk Of Being Left Behind In Digital Economy Transition, Warns Edfundo
Dubai, UAE November 19 2021 :
Youngsters in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are at risk of being left behind in the region’s digital economy transition due to a lack of financial literacy education, according to co-founders of the Edfundo smart money management app for tweens and teens on schedule for an early 2022 launch in the UAE.
Dubai residents and former teachers Simon Wing and Andrew Toward are preparing to launch the Edfundo app and associated pre-paid debit card with a strong focus on plugging the financial literacy gap among the region’s young and ensure they are money-wise participants in the expanding digital economy.
“We need to ensure that our youth are not left behind in the journey towards the cashless, digital financial society.
“Currently in the UAE young adults cannot open a bank account until they are 18 or even 21, and this limits the financial decision-making of youngsters. Even though financial literacy is part of the national curriculum in much of the region, it is not a dedicated subject rather is embedded into other subjects and often ignored or overshadowed.
“As teachers, and parents, we realised this is serious and can put young people’s mental health at risk by exposing them to the stresses and strains that can come from poor financial decision-making. This is particularly important as the visions of many MENA countries is to migrate to cashless societies by 2030,” explained Wing, Edfundo’s CEO.
Ahead of Edfundo’s planned UAE launch early in the New Year, the app’s co-founders are now starting to collaborate with schools throughout the Emirates to improve financial literacy among pupils through a programme of dedicated activations, workshops and seminars.
Andrew Toward, Edfundo’s COO, believes a region wide campaign for better financial literacy among it young is pressing and overdue.
“Now’s the time to include our youth in the transformations which are altering the personal financial landscape.
“The digital economy is here and has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic with a huge flight from cash to digital payments, indeed many retailers are no longer accepting cash,” he explained.
“In a recent McKinsey’s survey of payment practitioners, 80% estimated that non-cash payments rose by more than 10% across the region as a result of the pandemic with some countries indicating even higher growth rates.
”And the flight to digital is here to stay with 90% of those surveyed anticipating at least half of new users avoiding cash and the region’s digital transactions rising by more than 50% on 2020 levels over the next five years.”
The co-founders believe that young people learn through “doing,” and have ensured that the Edfundo app will be highly interactive and fun, with gamification elements. The app content will be in constant evolution to carry rich and engaging educational content where users can learn a range of good financial habits, from budgeting to saving.
“The app, which will have rigorous parental control, will educate the young on the value of money – by earning for chores assigned by their parents or by allocating to savings as well as spending. It will give parents and their children a great tracking tool for how and where money is being spent and make youngsters more budget-friendly clarifying the difference between ‘want’ and ‘need,’ added Toward.
On launch, the Edfundo app will be available for download from the App Store and Google Play Store and a waiting list for those wishing to join its money management community is available for registration on www.edfundo.com.