29/08/2013 Banking Innovation


A nationwide early financial education programme that inculcates good money management habits and empowers the younger generation to be financially savvy

Innovation presentation

'- Cashville Kidz is an animated series that airs on Astro, Malaysia’s largest cable television provider.

- Teaches financial literacy to children between 10-12 years of age in a fun and engaging manner.

- To ensure understanding of complicated financial concepts, each episode consists of 1 key learning point and was kept to 7 minutes as studies have shown that children in the targeted age group only have an attention span of close to 20 minutes.

- Programme is complemented by an accompanying workbook and teachers' guide, a weekly column in the New Straits Times School Times publication, an official online portal and social media pages (Facebook and Youtube) to appeal to its young audience members.

- No other Southeast Asian bank has promoted financial literacy in this manner before.

- The importance of financial literacy cannot be overemphasized as Malaysia currently has a household debt of about 83% of GDP - much higher than any other countries in the region.

- Programme is modeled after the popular children’s cartoon “Dora the Explorer” that teaches kids puzzle-solving and geography.

- Impressive statistics include an average viewership of 1 million viewers.

- The official Facebook page accumulated 125,000 fans in less than 6 months.

- Engagement levels are high with an average number of 400 “Likes” per Facebook post.

- The official YouTube channel has seen more than 2 million views for its episode uploads. - The programme is supported by Maybank Foundation (MF), the official CSR arm of one of the region’s leading financial institutions, in collaboration with MoneyTree Malaysia, Southeast Asia’s largest financial literacy training provider.

Uniqueness of the project

'- In the ASEAN region, financial literacy education is mostly done via a classroom environment.

- While effective, it cannot reach out to large student numbers.

- CashVille Kidz gained the Malaysian Ministry of Education’s (MOE) endorsement to integrate a financial literacy element to schools’ co-curriculum.

- Through Astro, we reached out to students in over 8,000 schools regardless of financial background.

- It is carefully designed for a child’s mental consumption. Child behaviour specialists have reported that children’s average attention span is around 20 minutes.

- Episodes are kept to only 7 minutes, with a summary of key lessons shown at the end of each episode.

- Workbooks, website, printed and online educational content help keep students engaged as children learn best when they are having fun.

- It is an incremental innovation that complements Maybank’s core banking business.

- It enables financial empowerment, encourages long-term economic growth, allowing Maybank to grow alongside its communities in line with its mission to humanise financial services.

In-Depth Analysis

The Reason Behind

'- Key driver for this innovation drive was the rising levels of household debts in Malaysia.

- At 83% of GDP, the average household debt level is one of the highest within the region.

- The Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations (FOMCA) said that 47% of young Malaysians are currently in Serious Debt (Dept Payments amounting to more than 30% of their gross income).

- A 2012 Visa survey states that 1 out of 5 Malaysians do not have any savings.

- The state of debt in the country is rising constantly and Maybank believes that as a community bank, we have a role to play in curbing this.

- The best way to ensure better financial planning is to educate individuals from an early age on the importance of good money management habits.

- Hence, we decided to collaborate with MoneyTree on a national financial literacy programme.


'- First year’s results to gauge the programme’s traction and efficacy.

- The programme has been taught in 180 schools throughout Malaysia.

- Thanks to the MOE’s endorsement, these financial literacy sessions are conducted as part of schools’ extracurricular activities.

- We have reached out to more than 50,000 students through on-the-ground activities and online mediums.

- Viewership on Astro reached 1,500,000 (target was 120,000 viewers).

- CashVille’s Facebook page had 125,000 fans within 6 months.

- The YouTube channel has more than 2 million views for its episode uploads.

- One lesson learnt was that rewards help incentivise learning and participation. MoneyTree received a high number of activity sheets via snail mail from urban schools.

- Feedback from teachers and students on programme efficacy averaged at 8 out of 10 points (separate surveys).

- Learnt that rich content delivery and engagement appeal to young students. Teachers and students have commented that they enjoy the way lessons were delivered, not just via the television programme.

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