Improving the financial capability of young Australians

With Kendall Flutey, CEO and co-founder of Banqer.

Hear from Kendall Flutey, Co-founder and CEO of Banqer, as she shares her motivation for starting an online financial education platform for kids, insights into life as a start-up, and tips and advice for advisers and parents wanting to improve the financial capability of young Australians.

Kendall also explores what is being done in schools to equip the next generation with the skills they need to manage money effectively and what you can do to help. 

Kendall also 

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Matt Heine: Hi Kendall. Welcome to the show and thank you for joining us.

Kendall Flutey: Hey Matt. Thanks for having me.

MH: Now Kendall, we've known each other for a few years now. I first met you at a Fintech demo day and liked what you were doing with the financial literacy programme, Banqer back then. Do you want to give us a little bit of background on yourself and how you came up with the idea to start Banqer?

KF: Yeah. Sure. So my background is actually in accounting and in tech. I didn't last too long in the accounting world, decided it wasn't quite right for me and I retrained as a software developer. It was from there, just sort of a series of really fortuitous events that led me to where I am today. So if I do rewind the clock five years back, it was a conversation with my younger brother that sparked all of this. I'd retrained as a dev. I think I just wanted to go home to relax and have mum look after me for a weekend and that coincided with spending a bit of time with my much younger brother who was 11 years old at the time.

And he's a pretty normal 11 year old kid. He usually just wanted to talk about sport, but this trip home, he dove into a bunch of financial education, financial topics, so the question he actually asked me, straight off the bat, was, "Hey Kendall, if I want to employ someone do I bring them on as a contractor or an employee?" He'd never used the word employee. He'd never used the word contractor. We'd never talked about employment law before. So it was really out of the blue. So when I dug into it, it was actually his teacher who was inspiring him, through a bit of a classroom financial simulation. My brother had a company he'd started, must have been going well. He wanted to bring on his friend, Fergus, to do the work and that's where the questions sparked from.

So I guess with my ex-accountant hat on, I was aware of comprehending this knowledge, the difference that would have in Jordie, my brother's future. But also some of the little kinks he was telling me about the way his teacher was running the simulation, but with my software development head on, I thought this could be optimised.

So I actually reached out to his teacher who I didn't know from a bar of soap. Thankfully, he said yes, that he wanted to catch up. We chatted before I flew back out to Wellington that day, and from there he agreed to come on this journey with me. There's a few more twists and turns of randomness, like we pitched it to start-up weekends, so got some more strangers as co-founders. We tweaked and refined our business model to make it more accessible to New Zealand and then, yeah, I ended up on a flight over to Sydney. I pitched it at this event, and you happened to be there Matt, which is our entry into Australia and supporting thousands of Australian kids as well.

So it's been a wild journey, but it really does come back to that conversation with my brother when I figured out that, hey, 11 year olds can retain this knowledge. We just have to know how to get it to them. It has to be in a really consumable way. So that, where Banqer comes in, that it's a tech platform. It mimics everything you and I do as adults. But it's simulative. It feels really real. The kids sign in. They see their money. They earn money for coming to school or... Like my brother, he stacked the chairs and got money for that. Likewise, he had to pay his classroom bills, the WiFi, I think the heating, which seems a bit cruel. I'm sure they would have left the heating on even if the kids hadn't paid, and a few other expenses. And then we build on that through superannuation and tax and they're engaging with us all virtually and they can make those financial decisions themselves. And the results are quite incredible. Their comprehension of those concepts is amazing.

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MH: So how old were you when you decided to start Banqer?

KF: I think I was 22/23 if my maths stacks up.

MH: And before we met, you'd been operating in New Zealand for how many years?

KF: Only one and a half, maybe pushing two years at the most.

MH: But then pretty successful in that time. How were you able to grow what is now a very big bus in New Zealand in such a short period of time, particularly given your age at the time?

KF: Yeah. That's a really good question. I think having my co-founder being an educator was crucial. He understood the education landscape. I'd never worked in education obviously having just been through it as a student. Additional to that, we're a social enterprise at heart, so access to our platform is not only good for us for commercial reasons, but actually it drives our social purpose. So we are really mindful of breaking down different barriers. Interestingly enough, when we started out, it was a SASS model so the schools needed to pay per student per year.

Unfortunately off the back of that, we did see some uptakes, but we also saw a lot of people dropping off the free trial and obviously as a start-up, would we engage with them to understand why that was. And it wasn't to do with lack of engagement. We could see that from our end or from a lack of interest in continuation. It really boiled down to price and schools not having the budget allocatable to financial education. And that's the same here in New Zealand and in Australia. Some other countries it's a mandatory subject for this specific budget line for this education. Not the case here.

So we had to think creatively about how we could tweak our business model to ensure that we could still get access and see the scales that we wanted, for lots of reasons, but of course for that social impact reason.

So that's when we started talking with some people who had been supporting us in various ways because they say the good in it. And one of those organisations was one of our local banks, Kiwi Bank. And they committed to supporting 30,000 Kiwi kids to use the platform in year one at no cost.

MH: Amazing.

KF: Which is really significant. Yeah. It is. And look the flood gates were just opened up. It was clear that once that barrier was brought done, people were wanting and willing to engage and that really helped us scale.

MH: And how did you actually go about getting a conversation with Kiwi Bank and making sure that you got through to the decision makers?

KF: Yeah. My Australian family will tease me for this. It's just a New Zealand story. We're a village apparently. A friend who I was working with, had worked with previously at my software development company, knew the right person at Kiwi Bank and actually I think, I'd been introduced to two other people at Kiwi Bank. We all worked within a block of each other. And they'd actually been following our journey from the start-up weekend anyway. Someone had tweeted something and someone had seen it. We're all connected. So it was literally a coffee catch-up, sharing of the vision, showing them that really rough MVP that we created over that weekend. Because the first code base was cut in 48 hours and then it was shipped to the first classroom. And they saw through that crude user interface and saw the potential in terms of how we could engage students with this offering.

They were already part of the conversation but I think when the desire for us to scale up and the support was asked for, they were ready and able to jump on it.

MH: So financial literacy presumably is as big an issue in New Zealand as it is here. It's not taught in schools. It's no funded by the government. What's the situation over in New Zealand?

KF: Yeah. It's very similar to Australia's situation. Financial literacy is a huge talking point here. Statistically, there's varying figures on this but one that we stick to is the PESA report. Unfortunately, New Zealand dropped out of it from the last round. I think the results came out today and I haven't yet got my hands on the report. It's really hot off the press. We were talking to ASIC recently about it.

KF: One anecdote I share is if you've got a room of New Zealanders and you ask them if they could explain compound interest, an average room of New Zealanders. Half of them would put their hand up. So half of our society is dropping off already in terms of what would be perceived for those in basic financial comprehension. It has really severe consequences if you don't understand compounding interest. So half are out. Then if you turn to the half that had their hand up and you say, "Okay, explain it." Only half of them could do so. So that's quite significant at scale across the whole country and not only does it stop you from reaching your financial potential, it's actually a real financial risk because that's when those, and we see it here in certain demographics in society, engage in borrowing behaviours and don't completely understand the consequences..

MH: Yeah. Do you think the government has a bigger role to play in financial literacy, particularly in the segments that you're playing, which is kids.

KF: Yep, I don't necessarily think the government needs to be the provider of the education, but I do think they need to set a really clear strategy and expectations. One way they could do that is through mandation or prioritisation in the curriculum. So giving schools a stronger guide on this is something we need to teach. Here in New Zealand, we're starting to see that bubble away in various forms. Nothing is explicit as you have to teach if one did. But we're seeing the likes of life skills being pushed which financial capability fits within. I think the strategic piece in terms of bringing together the ecosystem and ensuring we've got what we need to operate is really effective, and our ASIC equivalent over here is the Commission for Financial Capability. They're doing a really good job in that space.

I think the government can play a stronger role than it has historically, but I do actually think it's heading in the right direction these days.

MH: Yep. Because there's certainly been concerns over here with corporates trying to fulfil that role and not necessarily going about it in the right way. And certainly, we've been very conscious of that in our relationship with Banqer. But having got the support of Kiwi Bank and netwealth over in Australia, some of the challenges you could face actually then going into the schools, despite the fact that it's now a fully funded programme for them, have been quite interesting.

Where do you see the biggest roadblocks within schools?

KF: Yeah, I think it's just that schools are completely cluttered. The curriculum is stretched to the max as it is, so that small ask of mine from two minutes ago, to make it mandatory or prioritise it is actually a really big one. So that's the first area we recognise. And that's not going to change overnight. Personally, I think the curriculum needs a good shakeup anyway and we need to see more cross-subject investigation in learning and that will expose opportunities for financial education because you and I don't say, okay, Tuesdays from nine until ten and then Wednesdays from two until three is when I do money, right? That's not how it works. Money comes up whenever it [inaudible 00:12:35]. So if we rework our curriculum in that way, I think that opens up more opportunities but right now, a bit of a barrier.

The second barrier, you kind of touched on it before, especially in Australia, is the fact that there have been some providers, not just Australia, in New Zealand as well, who perhaps don't have the best intentions when they deliver financial education packages. Or they just don't have the capability themselves to deliver something meaningful. So we've actually reached some teachers who are a little bit wary of financial education providers, because culturally it is still seen as a very personal and intimate topic to be touching on. I don't think that's the most significant barrier, but it's still one we're aware of.

And again, us being an education company really helps with that, in having really awesome partners who are in the financial space, but not necessarily driving their own motives by any means.

The last barrier that I think is really relevant is actually the teachers' financial capability. Could you imagine getting up in front of a class and talking on a subject that perhaps keeps you awake at night, because your personal finances aren't where you want them to be? Or that you just know nothing about it and have zero interest in. That would be a really tall order, so over the last five years, we've tried to develop a product that, it still relies on the teacher, but it's able to take the teacher on that financial education journey as well, because when the teacher's confident, they're going to be more interested in it. They're going to be more likely to adopt the platform and they're going to do a better job for their students as well.

MH: I think that was probably what got us most excited about the programme when we first saw it, and it's been proven right along the way. I've never seen a group of children between the ages of eight and 12 get so excited about learning about superannuation. It was-

KF: I know right.

MH: It was fantastic to see. We were able to simulate superannuation with lollies. But more importantly the online platform and to see them then planning their retirement parties. It was fantastic to watch.

KF: That's right. And I think that really speaks to the merit of simulative learning. Learning about money via reading a book or in a text book is a good start. If that's the baseline that we've got to work with, we should totally go there. But if we can enhance that experience and rely on technology which is where financial engagement is going anyway as consumers, we don't only make it more relevant for the student, we take some of that burden off of the teacher and we make it way more enjoyable for the kids. So, yeah, we leverage that experience wherever we can. That said, some of the engagement with the platform is also offline because they need to enact and bring it to life. Coming back to my brother again, he actually had to do the work in the classroom, take the chairs down every evening to earn his income and his salary. So, yes, the simulative experience mishing the online and the offline experience really enhances it for kids.

MH: Something that you've been very successful on as well has been converting, and it really picks up on your earlier point, taking financial literacy and really turning it into financial capability. And there is a big difference. If we look at risk profiling as adults, it's very difficult to answer a question, asking what would you do if the markets fell 20% if you've never actually experienced the market falling 20%. Whereas using a simulated online platform, actually gives children that real experience, as you said, of earning money, spending money and losing money. Because I think some of the modules around particularly insurance. People that have bought or invested in, kids that have bought or invested in houses can actually lose them in earthquakes.

KF: That's right. It can be a little bit of Friday stress relief for the teachers. If the kids have been a little bit unruly for the day, they might trigger a disaster and have all the houses crumble before their eyes and we hear from very unhappy students in those instances. But, yeah, I think putting people through their paces, trying to let them experience money before they actually are in that situation in real life, is as good as it gets. It's kind of like the DIY without having the consequences. So we try and mimic as many varied financial situations as we can in the platform, including bankruptcy.

So I have bankrupted an eight year old before and I don't feel terrible about saying that because I'd far rather it happen within the safe confines of Banqer where there are no lasting consequences on your credit record. The money is fictitious, but the learnings are completely real and I would tell you what, our data, the cool thing about it being a tech product as well, is we can track all of those financial engagements and pretty much every single transaction. Our data of repeat offenders when it comes to bankruptcy is extremely low. We haven't cracked over ten. So we think it's pretty effective means of letting kids loose, stretching their financial wings, but also creating that safe environment for them to learn. And give it another go. And actually succeed, reach the top of the leaderboard perhaps by the end of the school year.

MH: So when it comes to financial capability, what are the key modules that you've created that you could provide to the students. And is it gradual. Do you have to start... Presumably you start very simplistically and build up their knowledge over two or three years? How does that work?

KF: Yeah, you're right. It is a progressive thing. So we start out with earning income, because to get the simulation stimulated, you really do need to have that base of income coming through the kids' accounts. Once they understand and appreciate income, which it can take a while for students to comprehend how to increase income, how to move it around their accounts, how to make the most of it, we then progress onto expenses. And now you've got some fun right. Because now we're trying to balance something. We're trying to ideally increase our savings over time, but at the very baseline, we're trying not to let our account dip into arrears.

From there, once we've got the hand of budgeting, we'll introduce the likes of interest and compound interest through interest bearing savings accounts or the option to take out debt through an overdraft or a personal loan. We then go through on a journey through various financial concepts and it really depends on the teacher and the capabilities of the students. And by that, I mean their general literacy levels and their digital literacy levels to progress through the likes of superannuation, which we do recommend kids start off with early in the school year. The reason for that is the financial concepts are really great.

They're a broad insight into investing and risk profiling without the student having to make too many decisions themselves, but it also means, by the end of the year, if they've been enrolled since the start of the year, we've actually got a pretty lofty sizeable fund that's unlocked and they can retire in term four. So what we like to do is throw retirement parties with students dressed up as old people. It's a very subjective term. And they can do a bunch of fun events that their grandparents might enjoy, very stereotypical. And they don't have to do their jobs for the rest of the school term. So they've living off their super savings, which is really cool. Not many of us get to experience that until we're actually older, until we retire, but a student would have, albeit only a term or a ten week period, of understanding what it's like to live off a lump sum and make it last for the entire time.

Other concepts that the students really like is buying cars. And this is a really relevant one for, so the likes of 13 year olds. It's probably the next big financial asset, although maybe not so as we go into the future, as it's going to be cars on demand, but it may be the next financial asset that they're going to dive into. So kids really like to get the bike, the scooter and eventually the car. They can buy a Lamborghini if they want. And they can also see the income earning potential for that as well. They can fit it away to be an Uber driver at night time and come back and see a bit of income in their account. And of course, we touch on insurance and a few other things.

So it really is the full financial spectrum that you and I would engage with and we like to think that when a student has finished engaging with Banqer over one or two or ideally several years, they feel prepared to engage with those financial topics in the real world and our literacy testing and score improvements would speak to that happening. And the development of those financial capabilities that we were speaking about before. So through the use of Banqer can we say that this student has developed an understanding and appreciation of increased savings putting them in a better financial position. Can we tick that off? And we've got about 23 of those capability metrics. And it builds up a really strong profile of a student of a young Australian or a young Kiwi whose actually ready to transact and engage in the financial world.

MH: Speaking about cars on demand and Uber, one of the things that I panicked about with young children is what I'm calling invisible money. So in this day and age, you can survive in a totally cashless society where you pick up the phone, you order your dinner, you go somewhere and there's no exchange of money and therefore very difficult for a child to understand the value of money if it's not tangible.

For people not on the Banqer platform, how would you suggest that they start to go about teaching their children the value of money?

KF: And research does back up your concerns actually Matt. So kids under five, in particular, far greater likelihood that they'll understand and appreciate finances if they can touch and feel it. So kids getting mock coins or real coins and notes, I say mock like we don't have them any more. You could just get real notes and coins. The likes of the three jars rule. I'm a big advocate for that in the younger year levels.

As your children get older though, the realities of a digital financial system has to be accepted. That is the world they're going to engage with. So what we can do, as parents and aunties and uncles, is that we can invite them into that conversation. The money's not invisible. There's still an interface. It's just different. It's not in your wallet so to speak. So if we can show them behind the curtain, it may be a bold call for some Australian families out there, but show them your online banking interface for example, show them your banking app when you tap, if you've got a live feed coming through. Allow them to join those dots between when you present your card, that something actually is happening in the back end, financially. Because otherwise, if you don't join those dots, I've literally met high schoolers who can't comprehend that. So there is a real risk of that invisible currency becoming a real blocker to financial education.

So it really is just about including our kids in those conversations. And that's quite scary because I've also had kids at school who will tell me how much their mum and dad earn. So there's a risk that if you let them into that financial fold, I guess this is what every parent fears, that your financial situation will be shared around the community. And that's another learning opportunity I would say. Having that conversation, what we do talk about, what we're not happy to talk about, what we just talk about within the family and understanding where your comfort levels stop as a family.

MH: When do you believe is the appropriate age to start trying to teach children? My son's about to turn five. It would be great to think that we could remunerate him for jobs around the house. I'm not sure he's quite there yet. What would be some of the things you might suggest for a five year old or is that too early?

KF: I don't think that's too early at all. I think it's kid dependent and I don't even think it's based on age. It's really based on their appetite and the ability of the child and everyone's unique. But I do think remuneration for chores is great. But that comes with a caveat. Because at the same time, I think we're all part of families and we should all contribute to the family just out of goodwill and our love for one another. So I think there needs to be a baseline in acceptance of this is what we do for each other in the family. Mum and dad work. Or mum or dad cook dinner or whatever it may be. That's just what we do. And likewise, I think kids should have those responsibilities.

But there should be exceptions that they can either seek out themselves, or you identify as a parent, an opportunity for them to start earning income around the house. And I would say keep it really small to start with. Their relativity, in terms of understanding the worth and the value of what you're giving them, is low to start with. They're starting at a baseline of zero. They've never earned income before. So we can talk in a dollar for a job is fantastic. And also their ability to understand and comprehend different amounts and numbers will be lower, the younger they are, more generally speaking. I would suggest if you can carve out any jobs around the home, maybe unloading the dishwasher or it may be feeding the cat. They can be really clear jobs the child can earn currency for. Amazing. Get your three jars all set up. They can decide if they're going to save, spend or give and at the end of the month, you might act on that and actually to take to the bank and then check the bank statement online or the app once that's been deposited as well. So there's that whole connection through physical currency. There's the work, physical currency and then there's the digital equivalent as well.

MH: And I think that giving jar is really important, particularly at the moment with so many things happening around the world. It's a great opportunity and a great learning opportunity for our children.

KF: Yeah, I think that should always be part of the equation. Culturally, that's something that we try and bake into Banqer as well. I think the younger generations gravitate to it naturally, so they like to be presented with those opportunities. We have charitable giving inside Banqer and we have a minimum of $3 million fictitious Banqer dollars donated within our platform every year by students just because they want to. And thankfully, we're in a position where we can translate that into some real dollars as well, not quite three million, and give to charities in line with how the students were donating. So whether that's happening virtually or it's actually sitting on your kitchen bench, I think it's definitely a lesson I would encourage all parents, who are in a position where they can, to incorporate that.

MH: On the three jars, where you've set that up in a virtual environment and the kids have a choice of where their money goes, what's the data showing you? Are most kids spending it, are they saving it or are they giving it?

KF: Most of them are saving it, so that's certainly the largest category. I would say we've been slightly lighter on the temptation side of things though. I do think if we had a few more temptations and a few more hooks, we could lure the kids along to spend a bit more, and I'd be interested to see how that played out over the long term as well. I'm sure there'd be a sharp spike in spending, but there may be a bit of buyer's remorse as well. So we'd usually see the most in saving and then actually spending and giving come out about second best, equal, which is fantastic to see. It hasn't always been the case. Sometimes, depending on the charities that we have to donate to, there can be spikes. We had the SPCA, RSPCA as one of our charities one year, and gosh, giving went up so much that year. Kids and animals. I tell you what. So we've tried to not make it so bias and we try and steer away from anything that kids are naturally just going to jump on because they have a natural affiliation towards it.

MH: And do you allow the kids, when they're saving, do they have saving goals or are they basically putting into the system what they're saving for?

KF: Yeah, we don't take inputs of savings goals within the platform, but we've got a bunch of teaching resources and students resources that allows them to prepare a financial goal and it isn't just a one-liner, it's actually a plan of how they're going to save for it, why it's worth saving for, really diving into the values, covering off needs versus wants as well. So by the end of the resource and the end of the exercise, a student may decide that they don't actually... We've seen this play out, they don't actually want to save for it any more because they can't justify, after filling out one A4 piece of paper, that was long enough to say I can't justify this purchase.

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MH: Now, as we know, there is unfortunately a dark side to money. I know you've told me some fantastic stories. What are some of the better stories or more nefarious stories you've heard on the Banqer platform?

KF: Yeah, there's a few that spring to mind. And before I kick into them, I admire all of these students. Their innovation shines through and their creative thinking and I think to try and game a financial system, you have to understand it really well. So I'd say that these kids are probably peaking in terms of their financial capability and their financial cognition which is a great thing. So, no hate at all here. But we have had a couple of kids come up with some creative ideas to potentially take advantage or mislead their fellow students.

One example would be, I was in a school once and I heard one of the students was selling tickets, for Banqer dollars. I inquired a little bit more and found it was a lottery ticket, you could enter this student's six ball lottery and this is a class of 30 students. You can do the maths pretty quick and figure out the chances of this being won in a school year, minute, given the fact that 30 tickets are being bought each week, max, for the six ball lottery. And in fact it would take years and years and years for him to ever actually claim a winner. So he was making, I think, 20 Banqer dollars per ticket and the kids were buying into it week on week and he was the richest in the class by far.

So I actually worked through a little exercise with the students around the likelihood of their numbers being drawn out. I don't think I convinced half the class, half the class got it, half of them were still signing up every week and were like, great, less competition for us in the lottery. So I was really impressed by that student.

Secondly, in another school and a couple of the students were spending a lot of their money on some of the rewards that the teacher was offering. The teachers can set up as many as they want, rewards around the classroom. It may be preferential classroom seating, so some classrooms have couches and a student can buy access to a couch for a week for a hundred Banqer dollars. And one of these teachers just had done a fantastic job at monetizing basically his entire classroom. So there were little perks and benefits for students, wherever they looked, super enticing.

And a student who had been on Banqer for three years, so he was a veteran, he saw the new kids coming through, he saw their eyes lighting up at the ability to sit in the teacher's chair for a day and knew that a lot of their bank balances were suffering as a result. So he decided to set up a personal loan business himself and the interest rates, I can tell you, were eye watering. And he even had the students sign contracts as well, so it was watertight. And he told me this with pride as he came and collected me from the school office and walked me to his classroom. And we had a little discussion about interest and debt and even the effects of lending, we went into. And I think that the compromise there was that he introduced them new lower interest rates as well.

We see everything. I heard about students bringing in baking for Banqer dollars, doing artistic work for each other, cleaning each other's school desk. You just get this innovation of kids to earn income or to try and stretch those financial boundaries, which is what I love to see. Because it does mean, firstly, that they're engaged and it means that they understand the monetary system, their economy, their classroom economy that they're working in enough to try and influence and manipulate it.

MH: And I think you've seen teachers getting very creative with how they're using the Banqer platform as well. One of my favourite stories you told me was about a teacher explaining cyber for the first time.

KF: Yeah, yeah, that's a great one. And I've actually seen this a lot this year, which was really interesting, so maybe the word got out. But obviously cyber-security is relevant to all of us. And increasingly so for the next generation as they engage for the first time in the financial world. So one of our teachers, this is a couple of year ago now, wanted to put her students to the test and to see whether they would give out their Banqer credentials. And they'd been explicitly told to keep their user name and their password private, for obvious reasons, that this gave access, complete access, to not only their bank balance, but insight into all of their asset holdings, everything, the whole thing.

So that explicit note was told to the students and then a couple of weeks later, what she did is she created I think or something like that. At face value, at a glance, it could look like it was team Banqer emailing you. She then emailed all of her students telling them that it was Banqer and something had gone a bit wrong and we just needed their log-in details so we could fix it. Those students who emailed back, she then went in, signed into their account, ripped out all of their money, gave it all to her, so when they came to school the next day, they signed in and they were just zeroed out across the board. I think a lot of it was repatriated, but the lesson was real, because those students were in absolute tears and she was able to communicate why we don't give out our details online and what you should look for in a phishing scam or a phishing email, the giveaway being that the email address wasn't quite right. And I bet you that none of those kids who experienced that ever get scammed by a phishing email.

MH: Yeah, I think it's absolutely brilliant and like you said, better that it happens in a virtual world and not in real life.

KF: Exactly. Yep.

MH: Kendall, what role do parents have to play in financial literacy and how have you tried to include them in the discussions?

KF: This is a really relevant point. We're obviously in school financial education so we offer a platform for teachers and their students. That said, parents play a crucial role in the financial education conversation. What we teach kids at school can easily be undone at home. Students are seeing what's happening in the family. They're hearing the most influential people in their lives, which at that point are still their parents, and if those behaviours don't align with what they're learning, typically what they're seeing at home will win out. So the role that parents can play is, be engaged in the financial conversation. And that's easier said than done. It's a tricky barrier to break down if you're not used to it. If you're not confident talking about finances yourself, especially making yourself financially vulnerable to your kids, exposing some lessons you've learnt the hard way perhaps. That's step number one.

Number two is actually going along on the financial education journey with your kids. Most of us have something new we can learn when it comes to personal finances, especially the average Australian. So what we've done in Banqer to try and encourage that is develop the parent portal. So when students sign up, teachers can also invite parents to sign up and have access to their child's accounts, sort of a read only view, and off the back of that, we offer what we call dinner talking points. So if something really interesting happened that day, let's say, your son enrolled in super for the first time, we'd have super being the talking point for dinner that night, where maybe you could share any experiences you've had with super or any hot tips and tricks so that they can succeed.

So it's coming along on the financial education journey. And lastly, I think, understanding that your child is capable of these learnings and to offer as many learning opportunities as possible. So, instead of opening a bank account for them, which may have been done when they were younger, so instead of just going and getting their card for them, take them along, let them ask questions to whoever it may be they're getting the card from. If you're going to set up a fund on their behalf, get them under the hood as well. Let them sign into the interface. Talk them through what they're doing. It will slow you down a little bit, but it will pay huge dividends for your kid in the future. It will give them financial confidence. They'll know that they can come to you to talk about money, which is a really important thing and they'll also know that you're human financially as well. So we all make mistakes and it's better that they learn off of any historical mistakes you make, than history repeat itself.

MH: Kendall, unfortunately I think we're about to run out of time. Just before we go though, clearly, you're extremely passionate about financial literacy as are we at netwealth. What is the best way for parents to find out a bit more about Banqer and how can they try and include their schools or get the message out to their teachers?

KF: Great question. Yeah, look, we are extremely passionate and we only align ourselves with partners who are extremely passionate as well, so with netwealth's help, Banqer is free in all primary schools in Australia. So the best thing to do is to head along to which has all the information about the platform that is usable in schools.

We've also got some referral links as well if you go to, you'll be able to refer a teacher directly to use the platform. So all you need is their name, your teacher's name and their email address and we'll fire out an email to them, offering them some support in getting started, again at no cost to them, thanks to netwealth.

The other thing we've done, alongside netwealth, is we've collaborated and created some at home resources as well. It's obviously a bit of a different time right now and a lot of kids are at home, when it potentially wasn't intended for them to be at home, so at we've got 10 days worth of resources for you and your child to work through. A lot of them are self-directed as well, so there can be less you in the equation if you need to be on Zoom calls or whatever it may be.

So there's a lot of different avenues in terms of you engaging with finances with your kid or getting their school up and running.

MH: Fantastic. Thank you Kendall. Keep up the fantastic work and stay well.

KF: Cool. Thanks so much Matt.

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Views expressed are of the interviewee and may not be the opinion of Netwealth or its related companies.

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