😎 Gotta put on your shades…
We’ve reached our goal of 2,100 NZ Banqer classrooms!
The 60,000+ Kiwi kids now using Banqer are too young to understand my reference to the 90’s TV campaign singing of ‘shades’ and ‘bright futures’. What that campaign was specifically about eludes me, but the jingle is certainly embedded into my nostalgic youth.
Back then, when I was ‘putting on my shades coz the future’s so bright’ I was the same age as the average Banqer kid. But unlike the average Banqer kid unfortunately my mind wasn’t on mortgages, compounding interest, or transferring risk via insurance. However as I’ve grown older and been drip-fed exposure to the world of personal finances, I can’t help but think that this is the secret to a truly bright (and sunglasses worthy) future.
This thought first came to me at the same time the idea for Banqer did, that conversation I had with my 12 year old brother in late 2014. As he waffled on about employees and company structures (yes at 12 years old) I realised that this kid’s future had changed gears in a way that completely shifted his potential.
So we initially built Banqer for my brother.
For one student, in one classroom, in one school. Speaking honestly, never in my wildest dreams did I believe that less than four years on we would have over 45% of New Zealand school accessing Banqer. And 60,000+ kids using Banqer to learn and simulate financial concepts that my peers don’t even understand (don’t worry I won’t name names…)
Although we’re not a real bank, we process over 21,000 transactions a day, and have an economy worth $3.9 billion. We’ve created something that teachers, parents, and perhaps most importantly kids love. It feels a little ‘un-Kiwi-like’ to admit it but I’m extremely proud of this, because we’ve created something that I believe will change the lives of thousands of young Kiwi’s.
Just like my brother.
But this isn’t the entire story. It’s not just a story about me, my co-founders, and my brother.
A big part of us unlocking success in New Zealand is attributable to our champion partner, Kiwibank. In early 2015 they took a bet on a 24 year old with an idea. They offered technical advice, financial support, and they provided me the confidence to realise a pretty firm vision that had formed since Banqer was let loose in the wild.
Today, Kiwibank funds 60,000+ kids to use Banqer free of charge. And tomorrow they’ll be funding 90,000+ kids each year. They’ve decided to increase their contribution to our collective cause.
This really matters to me, and as a New Zealander I think it should matter to you too. Because it’s a New Zealand owned bank committing to changing the future. To lifting New Zealand’s economy up through a quality financial education. Kiwibank are ensuring that these Kiwi kids won’t be financially misled, or deceived. And they’ll have the best start to life they can, regardless of their circumstances at home.
When the Banqer kids of today look back, and reminisce about their childhood TV campaigns (like Ghost Chips) they’ll also be able to consider that thing that they did at school which taught them all about money. As a result, their nostalgic youth will be so much richer than mine was, as it will include the development of a fundamental life skill.
So thank you to everyone who has seen us grow to this point. To the teachers who took a chance early, to the parents who petitioned their schools to include financial education, of course to our partners like Kiwibank, and to the kids who constantly tried to break our website back in the early days.
I really do think the future’s going to be pretty bright for this bunch.
Lastly if you know a Kiwi kid who isn’t a Banqer kid yet make the most of Kiwibank’s generosity and grab one of the additional free 1,200 classrooms subscriptions to use Banqer… before they’re all gone!