Visa Canada announced today the launch of Financial Soccer, a FIFA World Cup inspired educational video game that helps youth and adults learn the fundamentals of responsible spending, the banking system, budgeting and saving.
Reinforcing Visa's global commitment to financial literacy, Financial Soccer can be played for free online through fast-paced, multiple-choice questions that test the player's knowledge of financial management skills as they advance down field and score goals on their opponents.
Combining the structure and rules of soccer with financial education questions of varying difficulty, the Canadian launch of Financial Soccer marks the one-month countdown to the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. A FIFA partner since 2007, Visa has been working to roll out Financial Soccer in more than 30 countries in the months leading up to the World Cup. The game is now available in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Russian, and Bahasa at www.financialsoccer.ca and has reached the milestone of being played over one million times around the globe.
The Canadian edition of Financial Soccer, launched today in both English and French, is the latest component of Visa's long-standing global commitment to financial literacy education and skills development. Today's launch coincides with public consultations in Toronto hosted by Canada's Task Force on Financial Literacy. The Task Force was developed by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty in June 2009 with a mandate to develop a cohesive national strategy to improve financial education across Canada. The Head of Visa Canada, Tim Wilson, will be presenting the company's recommendations on improving financial literacy to the Task Force on Tuesday, May 11, 2010.
"We have made a global commitment to reach 20 million people by 2013 with our financial literacy programs, and the launch of Financial Soccer in Canada is just another resource that will help us achieve that goal," said Tim Wilson, Head of Visa Canada. "Visa supports the Government of Canada's strategy and has pledged to work with the Task Force to help make financial education accessible and inclusive to all Canadians."
To help kick-start the launch, Visa has partnered with Toronto FC star Julian de Guzman and Yasir Naqvi, Parliamentary Assistant to the Ontario Minister of Revenue, who visited St. Mary's Catholic Secondary School today to give students a preview of the game and teach them the fundamentals of money management. "Financial success, like success on the field, comes from preparing and practicing good habits," said Julian de Guzman. "My biggest piece of advice for young adults is to learn the basics - create a budget and stick to it. Visa is helping teens to make smart, informed money decisions as they plan their future."
"One of the most important financial tools to spur financial inclusion is knowledge. Taking an innovative approach to financial education, and by providing it in multiple languages, this program encourages youth to combine their love of soccer with learning. It will help them learn the fundamentals of responsible spending, the banking system, budgeting, and saving. It really is a fun way for youth and Canadian families to learn to manage their money wisely," said Yasir Naqvi, MPP Ottawa Centre, the Parliamentary Assistant to the Ontario Minister of Revenue.
Visa has been promoting financial literacy in Canada since 1996 through Choices & Decisions, a program designed by teachers to provide practical, ready-to-use, lesson plans for use in Canadian classrooms. Additionally, Visa developed and maintains Practicalmoneyskills.ca, a site that provides educators, consumers, parents, and students access to free educational resources including cost calculators, budget templates, games, quizzes, and more.