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For the third year running, Allianz Malaysia is organising a series of events for children in conjunction with Global Money Week in March 2015. Global Money Week is celebrated worldwide, with more than 490 organisations in 118 countries across continents participating and connecting with each other in 2014 to raise awareness on financial education among children and youth. 

Global Money Week is coordinated and led by Child and Youth Finance International (“CYFI”), a non-profit organization based in Amsterdam. It is a worldwide celebration intended to empower the next generation of financial actors to be confident, responsible and skilled economic citizens. The movement has already gathered the support of some of the most prominent leaders and organisations across the world, including the Secretary-General of the UN, Ban-Ki Moon, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (“OECD”). 

Locally, Allianz Malaysia organised educational visits to the Bank Negara Malaysia Museum & Art Gallery (“BNM Museum”) in support of Global Money Week. The theme for Global Money Week 2015 is ‘Save today. Safe tomorrow’. It is CYFI’s belief that social and financial exclusion lead to an unsafe tomorrow where there is excessive spending and no saving.  Apart from teaching basic money management, the activities during the week are intended to encourage the savings habit. 

“At Allianz Malaysia, financial literacy is one of our core corporate responsibility initiatives. Since 2012, we have implemented our own financial literacy programme, My Finance Coach. To date, we have reached out to over 4,600 students in 12 states across Malaysia through more than 110 classes in 48 schools and organisations. 

Being part of Global Money Week over the last two years enabled us to highlight the importance of financial education among young people through hosting fun events to address a significant issue. Thus, we decided to continue our support for this meaningful event,” said Ng Siew Gek, Head of Allianz4Good of Allianz Malaysia. 

My Finance Coach is a non-profit initiative founded in Germany in 2010 by partner companies Allianz, Grey and McKinsey. It is a financial literacy programme aimed at improving the money management skills of young people. Under the My FinanceCoach programme, employee volunteers trained as Finance Coaches pair up to conduct classes in schools and non-profit organisations. Classes are interactive and engaging, with students encouraged to come to their own conclusions through role play, product tests and dialogue, among others. By using real life examples, economics and money management is taught in a way that young people can relate to. All Finance Coaches are required to abide to the code of conduct of My Finance Coach which expressly prohibits any form of selling activities. Allianz Malaysia has also partnered with the Federation of Malaysian Consumer Associations (“FOMCA”) since 2013, enabling My Finance Coach to reach out to more schools through FOMCA’s Hari Pengguna Malaysia competitions. 

“The final visit to the Bank Negara Malaysia Museum and Art Gallery in conjunction with Global Money Week 2015 was held for our employees’ children and family members aged 13 to 17 years on 19 March 2015.  The trip aimed to give them a better understanding of money and economics, specifically its importance in Malaysia. We are grateful to the Bank Negara Malaysia Museum and Art Gallery for facilitating the visit.” Ng said. 

During the visit, the participants attended a My Finance Coach class on the topic of ‘Savings’, which introduced them to the basics of investment and how it is important to grow your money but, at the same time, to also be wary of products that claim they can do anything. After the lesson, they were the first to be introduced to the Bahasa Malaysia translation of the My Finance Coach money manager app, known as ‘My Finance Coach - myPoket MFC’ in Malaysia. 

This app aims to encourage users to track their income and expenditure by offering an easy way of recording each time they spend or receive money. Users can split their transactions by popular categories, or create their own. They can also input recurring transactions, such as pocket money or monthly magazines, and allocate certain amounts to deposit into their savings account. The app will also post a notification if monthly expenses exceed the recorded income. At the end of each month, the app will analyse the user’s spending records and show what the largest spending categories are. 

“The ‘My Finance Coach - myPoket MFC’ app will help young people cultivate the good habit of recording their transactions and keep track of their expenses. As a matter of fact, adults could also use this app too!” said Ng. 

The app was initially developed and released in the German language by the non-profit My Finance Coach Foundation. It has subsequently been translated into English and Bahasa Malaysia. The free app can be downloaded on Google Play store or App Store by searching for ‘My Finance Coach’. 

“Through our efforts during Global Money Week and for the My Finance Coach programme, we hope to raise awareness on the importance of financial literacy. We are confident that these activities, as well as initiatives such as the money manager app, will enable the participating young people to gain new information and insights into finance and hopefully instil an awareness of and interest in managing their own money.” concluded Ng.

Source: 

1 - Child and Youth Finance International