Global outlook #1 – New Zealand – Banqer
Banqer transforms the classroom into a virtual economy
Banqer is an award-winning innovative financial education platform that gives primary and elementary students hands on experience with personal finances.
Through an online classroom currency, Banqer gets kids everywhere curious, creative, and ultimately, confident with money.
The startup was awarded the Child Youth Finance International ‘Economic Citizenship Education’ Award at the Global Inclusion Awards in 2017. Banqer is the first New Zealand company to ever be recognised by the Global Inclusion Awards.
Kendall Flutey, who co-founded Banqer in Christchurch, New Zealand launched the business in January 2015 with four business partners, after developing the concept at a start-up event the previous year.
She says New Zealand needs to ensure educators are comfortable in the digital world and creating a digital-centric educational environment is critical.
Her company partners with Kiwibank, helping more than 63,000 students in Australasia teaching students about saving, investing, borrowing and purchasing by turning the classroom into a virtual economy.
Flutey says one concern she has with ed-tech is that people are confusing digital consumption with digital production – and students need to become future leaders in the digital creation space.
“The other remaining stigma is around girls and tech. We urgently need more females to get into tech as a career. People are doing awesome mahi (work) in this space, but this issue needs to be quashed. It’s the last thing we need. Women who get into tech are doing amazing things.”
Flutey says to crank up to the digital revolution in New Zealand, businesses, organisations and people need to reduce barriers, be it devices, literacy, confidence or capabilities.