According to a 2017 survey, only 23 percent of Gen Z participants (anyone currently between the ages of 4 and 24) surveyed said that they talk to their parents frequently about money.
While some secondary schools now host seminars about money, rising Duke University senior Bolun Li felt they weren’t very effective.
“There was no incentive for us to pay attention during class, since it didn’t count for a grade,” Li tells Hypepotamus. “Finance isn’t something you can learn in one day and then remember everything. It’s a gradual process as you keep learning every day.”
Li partnered with fellow Duke student Simran Singh to build a solution for teens to learn about money in a fun way.
They worked closely with behavioral scientists specializing in teen financial literacy to embed those behavioral concepts into a mobile app.
Banking platform Zogo Finance makes it engaging to build good financial habits.
The free app has two objectives: incentive and reflection. A small allowance of real dollars is tied to their performance on the app.
The user goes through short, snackable educational modules, earning small payouts when they answer questions correctly.
Topics include credit scores, savings, insurance, student loans, and more.
The app is also connected to the user’s bank account so, after completing the education, a reflection module can show the teen how they’ve spent their money and what they could have bought with the same amount.
“It drives them to reflect on whether they enjoyed or regretted that purchase and shows them the opportunity costs of their purchases,” says Li.
The startup will go to market on a B2B2C model, with credit unions as their primary customer. They’ve already seen traction following a win at a pitch competition hosted by the National Association of Credit Union Service Organizations (NACUSO).
The credit union will pay Zogo Finance an annual licensing fee to receive a white labeled app they can provide their own customers and teenagers in their community.
They have several paid beta pilots set to go live this year, including one of the largest credit unions in North Carolina. Zogo also launched a paid pilot last month with a non-profit that helps underprivileged teenagers learn good financial habits.
Li says that they will eventually go live with a direct-to-parent model.
The team of five is currently participating in the MetLife Digital Accelerator powered by Techstars in North Carolina.
After an undisclosed pre-seed round, Zogo Finance is not currently raising money. However, they’re open to strategic partnerships in the fintech space.
“Most requests that we get are from parents since they don’t know the best way to teach their kid about money. We want to become the expert in financial literacy for kids, and parents’ most trusted source to teach their kids about financial literacy,” says Li.
Featured image via NACUSO