The Sonik Pocket platform integrates online and offline learning materials to help children between the ages of 5-12 understand the real value of money. On the platform, children are introduced to financial principles from an early age, preparing them for later life. We use pocket money as an incentive to encourage children to complete missions (tidying their room or taking out the rubbish) and unlock their pocket money, teaching children that their time has value.
Sonik Pocket’s internal, vetted, e-commerce store will not only help further develop their understanding of monetary value through real-world saving and spending. With relative free reign in the shop, children will come to quickly understand the consequences of spending their money. If a child spends all of their pocket money right now on a cheaper item, this means that it will take longer for them to save and purchase the bike that they have had their heart set on!
Financial education and money management are elements which are not discussed within the school curriculum, this is why all of our lessons are complimented with the integrated educational content that we have. We teach children mathematical skills, to fully understand the value of money and make independent decisions to save or spend their pocket money early on. In the future, we plan to expand the variety of educational content that we have on the platform.
At the end of the day, the most important cog in the Sonik Pocket rocketship are guardians. We provide guardians with necessary tools and resources, to help support and encourage financial discussions within the home – adults will learn how to become better money managers as well!
Every 4 and a half minutes, someone in the UK is declared insolvent or bankrupt, according to statistics from October to November 2019. At the end of January 2020, people in the UK owed £1,680bn in debt, up £48.7bn from January 2019. For each individual adult, this is an average of £31,845 – more than 100% of average earnings (The Money Charity).
Sonik Pocket was created to fill a need in society. Our goal is to make financial education more accessible, and more common, for younger generations. Over the last few years, we have conducted extensive independent research with the University of Strathclyde, helping us to develop a learning experience that engages and empowers children. More than this, however, we have learned from personal experience through our families, seeing first-hand how children interact with finances and the digital world.
Through a suite of interactive, educational content, money management tools, and a points-based reward system, we want to give the younger generation the skills they need to claim financial independence and responsibility as they grow older. Financial education is not covered in the school curriculum, and our research shows that the majority of parents and guardians don’t know how to approach the subject with their children. We aim to fix this; by providing a platform through which children learn in real-world terms how to safely manage their money, and by providing guardians with the tools and resources they need to foster healthy spending and saving habits for their children.
Currently, we are a team of 8, working hard behind-the-scenes to bring our Sonik Pocket vision into reality and helping children globally, understand the value of pocket money. The team have large families with very young children, and have used this personal connection to design a fun, interactive and engaging platform for children (ages 5-12) to learn about money management.
Usman Yaseen (Founder & CEO) is the visionary and the leader, with decades of experience working and running soft play centres for young children, he has developed a strong understanding of valuable key components, needed to appeal to our intended customers. He also has a breadth of technical experience with both web applications and smartphone devices.
Ross Thompson (Head of Educational Development) has 10 years’ experience in engineering and servicing with trouble-shooting experience, working for a small manufacturing company, training service teams around the world. He loves complex systems and the science of learning.
Paul Blackler (Commercial Lead & COO) has extensive experience in planning and executing through previous roles at The Royal Bank of Scotland. His strategic approach has steered the early stages of Sonik Pocket to success, achieving multiple awards and traction with thoroughly planned applications and business partnerships, resulting in the current iteration of the platform.
Alejandro Bahena (Head of Research) has experience in Consumer Behaviour, with a PhD in the research field! Currently, he works as a researcher for educational departments, thinks very strategically and is a very valuable addition to the team, helping us add brand/consumer value.
Marianne Smith (Head of Marketing & Communication) has a BA (Hons) in Media and Communication and an MSc in Marketing. She creates blog content, communicates with potential bloggers, investors and partners, and carries out the day-to-day administrative tasks.
Taylor Quate (Chief of Design) is the owner of Avenue Creative, specialising in graphic design. He has worked for agencies across North Ayrshire and is a very important member of our team, bringing ideas to life and creating Sonik Pocket branding, like our Sonik Pocket robot family!
Nicola Gray (Communications Intern) is currently studying BA (Hons) Multimedia Journalism at Glasgow Caledonian University and has experience in the following areas: researching, writing and scheduling social media content, PR, and using video editing software.
Fernando Fonseca (Research & Partnerships Assistant) has an MSc in International Business and Finance. He works alongside Alejandro, conducting research, helping to create business plans, working out financial projections for the year and communicating with retailer partners.