A survey by a major investment firm revealed that 77% of parents are uncomfortable talking about finances with their kids.
This revealing bit of information led the $1.9 billion CommunityAmerica Credit Union of Kansas City, Mo. to launch a new mobile app, “Socky Saves,” for children.
Available free for Android and iPhone users, the app features its popular sock puppet character Socky Saves-a-Lot, and is designed to help children learn financial fundamentals, as well as foster deeper conversations with their parents about money.
This app, in combination with the Kids & Money section at Community America’s web site, will give parents more confidence to have those money conversations with their children, said Sam Passer, vice president of program services for CommunityAmerica.
The credit union said it is the first financial institution in its market to offer a mobile banking app that provides this “level of youth engagement.”
For example, when parents are walking through a store with their child who mentions he/she wants to buy a toy, Passer explained, the app provides a conversation opportunity about whether they have enough money to pay for the toy, if this is what they were saving for and, more generally, about wants versus needs.
“It provides multiple teaching opportunities during the formative years as kids are forming money management habits that will impact their entire future,” said Passer.
Socky Saves is a companion to the credit union’s kid-friendly Cash ‘N Coins savings account. Parents who use online banking with CommunityAmerica can synchronize their kids’ Cash ‘N Coins accounts with the “Socky Saves” app by obtaining a code for quick e-mail validation.
Then, when their children want to see their Cash ‘N Coins account balances, they simply open the app, swipe to their page and give the phone a shake.
“The new ‘Socky Saves’ app is just one more way we demonstrate our consistent dedication to youth financial literacy,” Passer said. “We believe the app can help teach children the value of saving money, encouraging good personal finance skills for a brighter financial future.”