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Changing the face of financial literacy one corporate partnership at a time

02 December 2020 Momentum

The entire world is in a tough economic spot right now. Economies are struggling, unemployment is at record highs and the COVID-19 virus still haunts our daily lives and personal finances.

There has never been a greater time to champion the cause of financial literacy, as almost a third of South Africans don’t even have a bank account and basic finance is barely taught in schools.

Armed with a uniquely innovative platform and a passion to change the world, one hero of finance has made it her mission to change this. Meet Monique Baars – a woman who is systematically making financial literacy accessible one corporate partnership at a time.

“We all make financial decisions every day,” says Baars. “It doesn’t make sense that finance is hardly taught at schools, or even spoken about in the home. It has always felt like real financial understanding is reserved only for those who pursue financial careers. So I decided to do something about it.”

Through her platform, FinEazy, Monique offers corporates the opportunity to help educate their customers, employees and suppliers in the basics of finance. As a woman passionate about raising the bar for financial literacy, Monique’s story is an inspiring journey to success, but her journey is not over as she embarks on her mission to work closely with corporates in South Africa and across the world to add digital innovation to financial literacy education.

Through the power of digital innovation, Monique had a dream to democratise financial education and finally deliver it in a relatable way to anyone with access to the internet and a digital device.

The FinEazy platform was designed to personalise the learning experience and to be easily accessed through common messaging apps or online. Through the chatbot journey, participants choose a character that reflects their position in life and are then faced with fictional financial situations with multiple choices to make. Some decisions can lead you to poor financial choices, and others will help you learn about what it means to be financially responsible. Users are even able to ask questions and the chatbot will respond with the right information.

Having partnered with various corporates in South Africa and abroad, Baars is dead set on achieving her mission of financial freedom for all. “We have an exciting road ahead. While we are constantly improving our product and expanding our reach, we are currently focused on educating millions of South Africans over the coming months and years.”

FinEazy’s most recent partnership was with financial services giant Momentum Metropolitan, where Momentum Metropolitan Foundation (NPC) sponsored a free course between April and June 2020. Over a thousand Momentum customers and South Africans in general took up the opportunity to make their way through the FinEazy course – gaining invaluable knowledge about their finances in the process.

“Momentum is an inspiring and forward thinking organisation,” says Baars. “It was such a joy to work with their CSI team with a shared vision to increase the reach and impact of their programmes. We can’t wait to see what the future of this partnership holds.”

Momentum Consumer Financial Education Specialist, Claire Klassen says, “We were so proud to work with FinEazy. We really feel like we made an impact and look forward to another partnership with Monique and her team early next year. In our country where financial literacy is low, this course enables people to make informed decisions when it comes to finances – becoming a partner that enables their journey to success," says Klassen.

Baars and the team at FinEazy are working with a growing number of corporates across the continent. One big brand they are excited to work with is M-Pesa - Africa's leading mobile money service boasting more than 430,000 active users. “We are excited to extend our impact into more African markets as we believe this is where financial literacy education is most needed.”

Baars says now more than ever, everyone’s financial fitness is the key to business sustainability. “Every person around the world has been negatively impacted by the pandemic in one way or another. There is a financial, social and economic reason for corporates to play their part in building the financial resilience of their employees, suppliers and customers.”

Baars believes that FinEazy has built the most effective, scalable way to do this. “If you are willing to take the journey with us, together we can fundamentally improve the way financial consumers manage their money.”

Learn more about how you and your business can partner with FinEazy today and take financial education to the next level.

Quick Polls

QUESTION

How to give affordable and appropriate financial advice to the low income market segment. There is little room on a R50 pm policy for advisers to be remunerated for the time it would it would take to educate & fulfil admin function. What is the solution?

ANSWER

[a] Eliminate non-advice sales / telesales
[b] Implement industry standards for non-advice information
[c] Introduce an insurer-funded pro-bono advice network to low income earners
[d] Reinforce the Policyholder Protection Rules
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