Sumitomo Mitsui Card offers practical financial education for elementary school children using “Hello Money,” its proprietary app for recording pocket money. Children use it to learn how to manage money together with their parents.
“We discovered it’s difficult for parents to teach their children the practical skills necessary for using and saving money. Since we are a company in the financial sector, we thought it’s only natural for us to play a part in this field,” recalls Mikio Saito on the background to the app development.
Yukari Nishioka continues: “In view of the spread of electronic money, use of ‘invisible money’ is becoming commonplace. Many children of elementary school age start receiving pocket money. So, we thought it would be a good idea to help elementary school children start learning how to manage money and find their way around the financial system.”
Sumitomo Mitsui Card began developing the free app in 2016 and launched it in February 2017. By trial and error, the development team figured out ways of getting youngsters interested in financial management. As a result, the app is full of contrivances to stimulate children’s curiosity. For example, the app has the Allowance Book function for easy recording and management of the balance and purposes of expenses. With the Hello Money Bank function, children can learn about interest and currency exchange by depositing money in a virtual bank account. In addition, the app also has a game element: a user receives a jigsaw puzzle piece once a day upon login. The number of users has been rising ever since the launch and Sumitomo Mitsui Card is receiving feedback from parents reporting that their children love using the app because it’s such fun.
Seminars for parents and children featuring the app held nationwide by Sumitomo Mitsui Card are proving popular.Plans call for development of another app to make financial education more familiar and enjoyable.