ABN Amro has teamed with Swedish fintech firm Gimi for the nationwide roll out of a financial literacy app designed specifically for kids.
Built to appeal to the 8-13 years age group, the app lets them check their bank balance, set savings goals and communicate with their parents about the chores or odd jobs they earn money with.
It also features educational quizzes and games compiled in collaboration with a leading Swedish higher education institution and assessed against the financial literacy recommendations of the Dutch Institute for Family Finance Information (Nibud).
“That’s important, since it’s how we know for sure that youngsters are getting the right message,” says Bart Verboom, new business and partnerships team lead at ABN Amro. “The app helps children internalise the value of money and understand proportional amounts. In one of the games, for example, kids have to guess how much a certain product costs or how many hot dogs they can buy for the price of a pair of jeans.”
Gimi was launched in the Netherlands in March 2022 as a pilot project in which 3,000 clients took part. It was so successful, says Verboom, that the app is now being rolled out to the general public, regardless of whether they bank with ABN Amro.
“The results of the pilot are encouraging,” says Verboom. “Figures show that kids check their balance five times a week on average. This makes them aware of the money they have on their account. It gives them a sense of pride and responsibility.”
ABN Amro has set itself a target of reaching one-third of its clients in the 8-13 age group over the next three years. It's longer-term aim is to help curb money problems among these children once they’re older.
“When it comes to managing money, you can tell kids what they need to know, or you can show them,” says Jeroen Bleijerveld, e-commerce and consumer engagement team lead. “That’s all well and good, but children actually learn more effectively by doing things themselves.
“We don’t yet know for sure whether we’ll manage to help these kids avoid financial difficulties simply by handing them an app. In fact, we won’t know the answer to that for another ten or fifteen years. What we do know for sure, though, is that Gimi is a fun, effective tool for boosting these youngsters’ financial resilience.”