How Your Bank Can Improve Family Financial Wellness

Recent research from EverFi has revealed significant gaps in family financial capability in the United States, with only 43 percent of all parents reporting that they feel prepared to talk about finances with their children. Fortunately, as trusted sources of financial information, banks and credit unions are perfectly positioned to help families fill these financial literacy gaps. Here are five ways your bank can make a difference.

Only 43 percent of parents feel prepared to talk about finances with their kids. Learn 5 ways financial institutions can foster family financial wellness.

Only 43 percent of parents feel prepared to talk about finances with their kids. Learn 5 ways financial institutions can foster family financial wellness.

Provide resources for financial education

Ideally, the financial education you provide should cover three audiences: children, adults, and parents talking to children. Make sure these resources are available as an unbiased set of resources and resist the urge to sell to your customers.

Make these resources readily available

In addition to offering financial education to your loyal customers, your bank should also make your resources readily available and searchable on your website for new prospects.

Educate employees

Your employees are on the front lines of meeting with customers, so making their personal financial education an on-going process ensures your customers are getting the best engagement and information possible.

Embrace banking for kids

Along with offering financial education for kids, your bank can also promote entry-level accounts for young people interested in learning financial capability on a small scale. This allows kids to practice working with financial institutions and learning about money—early on.

Support financial education in schools

School-based financial education can make a big difference in improving financial capability. By supporting and promoting these programs, your financial institution can increase accessibility to education for underbanked communities—and also help to fulfill your CRA requirement.

 

For more information on EverFi’s research into family financial wellness, and how financial institutions can get involved, download our free white paper, 5 Strategies Every Bank Can Use to Improve Family Financial Capability, here.

EverFi and BB&T Congratulate Winners of the 2016-2017 BB&T Student Blog Contest

screen-shot-2017-01-05-at-2-24-20-pmThis past winter break, BB&T and EverFi selected and recognized four winners of the 2016-17 BB&T LEGACY: A Leadership Challenge blog contest. Students from over 800 high schools that participated in BB&T Financial Foundations program in Fall 2016 were eligible to enter. After completing the BB&T Financial Foundations program, students had the opportunity to download and play LEGACY: A BB&T Leadership Challenge, BB&T’s digital leadership app. Students were then invited to answer one of three questions that asked them to reflect, analyze and share their thoughts and opinions on leadership. Winners were selected based on their ability to effectively convey their thoughts, quality of their writing and their originality. All four winners demonstrated impressive understanding of what it means to be a leader.

Raven, a student at Wakefield High School in North Carolina wrote about the relationship between a leader and his or her community:

“I learned new tactics to be an effective leader in the community such as exercising patience, asking questions to understand the needs of the people, and allowing individuals to make their own decisions with the information provided. An individual’s approach to these methods could add or subtract from their legacy. An effective leader is not merely knowledgeable, but open to receiving help from others in the community. Legacy highlights the power of combining ideas to create a better society. In the interactive game, a single individual’s passion for construction allows for the dreams of his neighbors to come to fruition. Everyone’s unique talents can be utilized for the benefit of the community while providing them with a rewarding livelihood.”

Lyric, a student at North Springs High School in Georgia shared how LEGACY allowed her to recognize a leader in her life:

Teacher Ms. Daniel presents winning student Lyric with her award.

“After completing the leadership challenge, I realized I have a lot of inspirational leaders in my life. The one I will describe is my teacher, Ms. Kimberly Daniel. The app showed me that leaders have a lot of quality characteristics, but I believe the most important three are patience, decisiveness, and persistence….After seeing her coach my team and all of our different personalities, I saw all the patience she had. In basketball you have to choose your team with confidence and know which players work well with one another. Coach always knew who to put in and when in order for our team to be successful. Lastly, I can honestly say she has mastered the consistent component of her leadership qualities. Even though she doesn’t coach anymore, she still faithfully comes to my games and tells me constantly what I can do to be better and play at the next level.”

 

 

Celia, a student at Echols County High School in Georgia talked about an inspiring leader in her life:

“Coach Ade looks like a human hulk. He was intimidating to say the least. He is the leader that everyone wants to know. He doesn’t dictate your every move. He is patient and ready to lend a hand. However, those traits are not what makes Coach Ade the leader Legacy taught me about. Coach Ade is special because he knows my boundaries better than I do. He makes sure I understand that being able to come back tomorrow, painless and without a cane is the goal. However, we still celebrate tiny gains. I don’t complain when I feel pain, but Coach Ade still knows when I’m hurting. He will always respond with a question, which makes me really consider what I am doing. Coach Ade is positive and never gives in to me wanting to push past my abilities. Upon completing Legacy, I realized how much Coach Ade resembled the character I played. He is an uplifting soul, who puts his athletes before his self. He has shown me that I can be capable and still keep within my boundaries. Throughout Legacy, many characters were crowned Victorious People. Legacy needs another Victorious person. His name is Coach Ade and he is my leader.”

Peter Okolocha,  a student from Meadowcreek High School in Georgia described what he believes makes and defines a leader:

Winning student Peter with his teacher and family.

Winning student Peter with his teacher and family.

“Leaders are not born but are made by their experiences, successes and failures. Ideally, a leader is an individual that has built up their credibility, empathy, and excellent communication and decision-making skills. Credibility is one of the major foundations of being a leader. Credible leaders are often consistent and reliable in their thoughts, beliefs, and behavior. They are steadfast in their choices and refuse to reversing decisions…Leaders are often perceived as assuring, confident, and motivational individuals that contribute a lot to their environment and workplace. They elicit the best in people around them. They learn from their mistakes and failures in order to strive for something better. Legacy: A BB&T leadership app has been and still is a valuable asset in analyzing attributes and skills tied to being a leader and how to become one of the best.”

Congratulations our four winners, who each received a $500 gift card, their teachers who received a $250 gift card and to their schools.  

 

10 Tips to Improve CRA Performance in the New Year

Staying compliant with the Community Reinvestment Act is crucial to the health and success of all banks. But why stop at simply meeting a standard when exceeding requirements can benefit your institution from a business perspective? By improving your CRA performance, you not only remain compliant, but can also take advantage of a growth opportunity in the new year.

10 Tips to Improve CRA Performance in the New Year

Download EverFi’s guide: 10 Big Ideas to Improve Your CRA Outcomes

Here are 10 tips for better CRA performance in 2017:

  • Stay ahead of the curve. Standards for complying with the CRA are going up, so now is the time to position yourself to exceed expectations.
  • Prioritize financial education. Investing in financial education for students and adults—especially underbanked communities—can have a big return for financial institutions by bringing in new customers and creating additional customer loyalty.
  • Make sure you measure. You want to be able to prove your initiatives are working. Setting measurable outcomes is the best way to do this—and it makes it easy for your CRA evaluator, as well.  
  • Interact. Use technology to engage with your target audiences—anywhere, and any time—through various mediums, including videos, games, apps, and others.
  • Test before and after. To determine if your education initiatives are effective, test participants’ financial literacy both before and after each course. This also makes it easy to demonstrate success to your CRA evaluator.  
  • Gather valuable data. Make sure the data from your measurable outcomes and results is readily available for when regulators ask. The more information, the better.
  • Don’t be afraid to go digital. Investing in online courses allows you to reach many more learners at a lower cost—anywhere, any time. Not only is interactive online financial education more scalable than classroom education, but it also has a higher return on investment.
  • Don’t wait. Making improvements to your CRA program now means you won’t have to scramble after receiving a “Needs Improvement” rating.
  • Maximize your return. Giving back to the community through effective financial education programs also creates brand loyalty and attracts new customers—that way, everyone wins.

Technology has made it easier than ever before to reach new audiences and to measure program effectiveness. Learn more about how EverFi can help you with CRA performance by downloading EverFi’s guide, 10 Big Ideas to Improve Your CRA Outcomes.

UKFCU: Boosting Member Financial Wellness with Digital Financial Education

As a member-owned financial cooperative, the University of Kentucky Federal Credit Union has an especially vested interest in their members’ financial decision making. Understanding that financial education technology could make a big difference for their members, they tapped into EverFi’s expertise to design digital financial education courses and implement a large-scale outreach initiative.

How the U. of Kentucky Credit Union launched an incentivized digital financial education program that boosted engagement and promoted auto loan sales.

Download EverFi’s case study, Driving Member Wellness Through Online Education: The University of Kentucky Federal Credit Union

With EverFi’s digital financial education training modules, the University of Kentucky Federal Credit Union was able to offer accessible financial education without taxing their limited staff resources. And, as an incentive for members to participate, they decided to offer a quarter-point interest rate discount on a new auto loan for any member who completed four training modules. This reward not only boosted participation, but it also had the added bonus of helping to promote auto loan sales.

The program proved to be hugely successful, with more than a third of the visitors to the credit union’s website taking time to engage with the auto loan discount program. Among members who registered for the program, 87 percent completed at least one module, with 37 percent completing the entire program.

The online education content has also helped the University of Kentucky Federal Credit Union improve their digital presence and connect with hard-to-reach millennial members. Thanks to their partnership with EverFi, they’ve found a solution to member financial wellness where truly everyone wins.

To learn more about how the University of Kentucky improved member financial wellness and their digital financial marketing strategy with EverFi, read Driving Member Wellness Through Online Education: The University of Kentucky Federal Credit Union.

5 Tips to Reach Millennials Through Financial Education

Financial institutions are realizing that they must embrace innovative methods to engage with their audiences—and nowhere is this more true than with the millennial generation. As a demographic that is both less likely to seek professional financial advice and more likely to score low on financial literacy tests, providing millennials with technological options for receiving financial education—anytime, anywhere—is becoming a critical way for financial institutions to connect with this critical audience.

5 Tips to Connect With Millennials Through Financial Educuation

Download our report Reaching Millennial Consumers: Using Financial Education as Content Marketing

Here are five tips for connecting with millennials through financial education:  

Keep it short

Long lectures and lengthy programs aren’t likely to capture short attention spans. Leave it quick and to the point.

Make it relevant

Don’t bombard your audiences with information that isn’t relevant to their current stage of life. Instead, target current needs, like building credit and starting savings accounts.

Embrace mobile

For the generation that grew up with cell phones, if something’s not available on mobile, it might as well not exist. Optimizing education programs for mobile devices means that millennials can learn anytime, anywhere—whether commuting on the subway or standing in line at the grocery store.

Be authentic

Millennials value authentic interactions and are more likely to spot disingenuous intentions and “salesy” tactics. Here’s the good news: they’re also more likely to act as brand ambassadors for companies and organizations they believe in. Be informative and helpful—not solicitous—and you’ll be building a customer for life.

Don’t push

Since millennials tend to be marketing-savvy, be careful with how much you attempt to push or upsell early on. Rather than attempting to sell to them outright, allow your informative content to earn their trust, and then target only the most relevant offerings to them.

Research shows the millennial generation to be bright, open, and eager to expand its financial capability. When done well, financial education programs can connect with millennials and build lasting relationships.

To learn more about using financial education as a method of content marketing, download our report Reaching Millennial Consumers: Using Financial Education as Content Marketing.

4 Solutions to Reach Underbanked Communities

For banks and financial institutions, engaging underbanked communities is key to spreading financial education and maintaining compliance under the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). Fortunately, by leveraging technology and embracing the needs of students and young adults, reaching underbanked communities has never been more possible.

Download Guide: 4 Solutions to Reach Underbanked Communities

Download our free guidebook, Technology is the New Branch: 4 Solutions to Reach Underbanked Communities, and learn about the trends, statistics, and strategies that will help you better meet the financial needs of your community.

Here are four solutions for using financial education to connect with the underbanked:

  1. Go mobile. Mobile usage has skyrocketed over the last several years, but enacting a comprehensive mobile strategy for financial education is especially important for reaching people with low-to-moderate incomes. Since smartphones are less expensive than computers and can perform most of the same functions, many use them as their main source of technology.
  2. Scale with digital. To reach more people in a way that is both scalable and cost effective, embrace digital learning. By providing financial education programs online or through an app, more people can have access to the information they need.
  3. Break down language barriers. A 2014 study by the National Council of La Raza found that 33 percent of Spanish speakers selected their bank with language accessibility in mind. Offering financial education solutions in multiple languages helps eliminate these barriers.
  4. Think beyond credit scores. According to FICO, 53 million people—the majority of whom are millennials or low-to-moderate income households—don’t have a credit score, making this standard that banks and credit unions use to evaluate consumers problematic. Instead, certificates and test scores for financial education courses could be used to determine credit risks for underbanked populations.

Employing strategies to reach underbanked communities means the next generation will be more informed and confident about their financial decision-making—and these four solutions are a great place to start. Learn more about how your financial institution can better reach underbanked communities.

To learn more about EverFi, visit us at EverFi.com/FinancialEd.

The Future of Community Reinvestment Act Compliance

Since Congress signed the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) in 1977, financial institutions have had a legal obligation to provide banking access and education to communities—particularly underbanked communities—within their geographic footprint. That obligation has not changed over the years, but the communities, as well and the ways in which financial institutions meet their needs, has. This relationship will continue evolve alongside technology. Here’s what the CRA future has in store.

Download Our Guide the Evolving Bank Branch: A Look at Tomorrow’s Community, Technology, and CRA

Download Our Guide the Evolving Bank Branch: A Look at Tomorrow’s Community, Technology, and CRA

 

Streamlined evaluation process

Technology has offered companies unprecedented access to data—and that data is becoming easier to gather, sort, and transmit. This will allow for a much simpler evaluation process and, potentially, an automated data collection system that would make the reporting and compliance process easier and more transparent for both FIs and regulators.

Increased access to financial education

Financial education is crucial to successfully engaging with underbanked communities and helping young people become financially capable; for FIs, providing that education is becoming easier and more accessible as technology improves. Not only does greater education accessibility help FIs maintain CRA compliance, but as financial education service platforms become more personalized and customized, more data can be collected about individual learners. This will help FIs measure both the effectiveness of their programs and the financial wellness of their communities.

Greater focus on the the individual

Thanks to this increased ease of data collection, expect the requirements of the Community Reinvestment Act to become significantly more individualized in scope. With so much information about the individual available, it’s likely that financial capability will be determined by more than just a credit score. Instead, FIs can determine loan risks on a more individualized basis, allowing for a greater number of underbanked populations to qualify for services.

Data-driven processes and predictive analytics are already changing the playing field. In the future, expect these two factors to play an increased role in not only how CRA regulators evaluate compliance, but how FIs engage with the communities they serve as well.

To learn more about how FIs can meet and exceed Community Reinvestment Act requirements through technology and financial education, visit EverFi.com/FinancialEd.

Tom Davidson

Why an Entrepreneurial Mindset Matters: The Power of Teaching Innovation and Entrepreneurial Thinking

In 2012, President Obama declared that November is National Entrepreneurship Month, “a time when we celebrate the remarkable and everyday success of our entrepreneurs and innovators, and we reaffirm our commitment to ensuring our economy remains the engine and the envy of the world.”

This month’s celebration goes beyond those individuals who have started successful companies. It extends to those who embrace the entrepreneurial mindset that helps even the most established companies grow and thrive. A recent Accenture study revealed that more than 90% of executives believe long-term success of their organization’s strategy depends on their ability to develop new ideas. Simultaneously, one in three employers say they are looking for entrepreneurial experience, underscoring the need for youth who are equipped to recognize opportunity, take initiative, and innovate in the face of challenges. However, a survey conducted by EverFi found that fewer than half of students feel prepared to identify a business opportunity or recognize the characteristics that make an entrepreneur.

Historically, entrepreneurship has been thought of as a cut-and-dried skill that a person has or doesn’t have. But EverFi and the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) believe that teaching an entrepreneurial mindset is possible.

Power of Teaching Innovation in Schools

In 2014, EverFi partnered with NFTE to create Venture, a 3-4 hour web-based course that equips students with basic business and entrepreneurial skills. Students build their own simulated food truck business and learn how to assess risk, see opportunities, and develop a business idea. Along the way, they’ll be introduced to entrepreneurs to get real-life perspective. The course is implemented on a co-curricular basis in classrooms across the country, empowering them to find their inner entrepreneur as part of the school day. Data collected from students who completed the Venture program revealed a 40% increase in students feeling prepared with the skills to think and act like an entrepreneur after participating in the program.

“In today’s innovation economy, the entrepreneurial mindset is more important than ever no matter the path a student chooses in life,” noted Dan Delany, NFTE’s Chief Strategy Officer. “NFTE Venture is a great program that helps thousands of students to start their entrepreneurial journey.”

Founded in 1987, NFTE’s mission is to inspire young people from low-income areas to stay in school, to recognize business opportunities, and to plan for successful futures. NFTE has worked with more than 700,000 students in programs across the U.S. and around the world. Evaluation of NFTE’s intensive classroom programs finds meaningful growth in students on opportunity recognition, critical thinking, problem solving and future orientation. Over 90% of students in NFTE programs feel that the program gives them skills that will help them succeed in school and life.

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Throughout National Entrepreneurship Month, EverFi will be posting stories like these about the impact of entrepreneurship education under the hashtag #NEM2016.

If you’re interested in learning more about NFTE Venture, contact Jim@everfi.com

TEACHER SPOTLIGHT: Sean Bradley

We recently sat down with Sean Bradley, a teacher at W. Erskine Johnston P.S. in Kanata, Ontario, to hear more about how he uses Hockey Scholar with students. This is part of our Teacher Spotlight series.
teacher-spotlight

Sean Bradley

How do you use EverFi’s courses in your classroom?

I have my students work at their own pace to complete the modules. Due to the high level of student engagement, and with all of the earphones being used, you can hear a pin drop at any given moment. We use the topics covered in the lessons to springboard into other discussions of how Mathematics and Science are related to the NHL and the real world. This has provided material for rich and relevant teachable moments and for the class to draw connections across the curriculum.

We recently watched the streaming of the Future Goals Showcase, EverFi’s virtual educational field that kicked off the World Cup of Hockey on September 14, 2016 (video here). Everyone became very excited and watched many of the games, especially the final game when Canada won the cup! This opportunity was a wonderful way to establish a community of learners and to positively start a brand new year.

What do you like best about the program?

The videos in Hockey Scholar are fantastic. In addition, the interactive game that follows allows the students to practice what they have learned in fun and authentic ways. Lastly, the multiple choice quiz checks to see if they have mastered the skill or not. I especially like the fact that they can go back and redo the module to improve their score and get a minimum of 70%, which is needed in order to ‘win’ the Stanley Cup! This offers the student an opportunity to learn from his or her mistakes and demonstrate persistence, and to take responsibility for his or her own learning. The students who completed the whole program were very excited when they received a certificate in the end, which provided them with the satisfaction of accomplishment.

I am always trying to tie in “real world” applications into my Math and Science classes. There is no better way to do it than with my favourite sport – hockey!

What impact has this course had on your students?

I think that the courses impacted my students in different ways. Many of the students were already familiar with the sport of hockey, whether they played on a team or watched the sport on TV, but I don’t think they had ever given any thought to the extent that Science and Math are used in the NHL. I don’t think that they will ever look at the game in the same way again!

For the students who were not as familiar with hockey, this provided an opportunity to learn about the sport while engaging in worthwhile math and science activities. I believe that some new Senator fans emerged after learning about the sport.

I always ask my students at the end of the year to share some of their favourite moments of grade 6. Time and again, the Future Goals program came up as their favourite activity of the year.

What best practices would you share with other teachers?

  • Love what you’re doing! If you show that you are enthusiastic about a topic, the students will likely respond positively to what you are teaching. It never hurts to show that you have a sense of humour, too.
  • If you can get them engaged and focused on what they are learning, you will have them hooked. This can be best accomplished with activity based lessons and more of a constructivist approach, rather than the students sitting and listening to the teacher lecturing – they become active participants in their own learning!
  • Make it “real”! Students shouldn’t have to ask, ”Why do I ever have to know this?” Providing opportunities for authentic learning experiences is an invaluable practice in the classroom. It provides the students with a keen sense of purpose for the learning activity, and highly motivates them by making connections to their real lives and the world around them.
  • We need to realize that it is okay to share the teaching with online work. As technology becomes more available in the classroom, it is important to utilize these tools in connection with face-to-face discussions. In other words, the students are not supposed to just log on the computer and the teacher just sits back and hopes that learning is happening. I’ve found you must plan thoughtful discussions that complement the online experience, and instigate peer to peer conversations using accountable talk and building on each other’s discoveries and ideas. I feel that the integration of these two learning tools together is key!

Do you have any advice for other teachers considering using Hockey Scholar?

Don’t hesitate to adopt EverFi. Do it for sure! After completing the course for the first time last year, the course has now become a staple in my Math and Science classes and will be for years to come. Think of yourself as essentially the ‘coach’, shaping their skill development, guiding them to be their best, and assisting the students in reaching their future goals.

Thanks for taking the time to talk with us, Sean!

Thank you to the NHL, NHLPA and EverFi for the time and effort that went into producing such a worthwhile and engaging STEM educational program!

3 Tips for Sharing Financial Education Over the Holidays

With all of the shopping, celebrations, and travel that accompany the holiday season, managing finances can be a concern for many people.  According to the National Retail Federation, the average person spends over $800 during the holidays, and that amount is forecasted to increase in 2016.

EverFi is here to help you educate and empower your customers, members and employees to take control of their spending habits and protect themselves from the heightened risk of consumer fraud that can take place during times of heavy spending.  Check out our tips below to get started on building out your holiday communication plan.

Tip 1: Start Planning

Building out a marketing and communication plan to support your program makes a significant difference in driving usage and engagement.  Think about ways you can share the financial education you have invested in with your customers and members before the end of the year.  EverFi is pleased to offer our partners a FREE Marketing Toolkit as part of your subscription. We hope you will use these resources to inspire new ideas and help you maximize the impact of your program.

Tip 2: Go Wide

Leverage all existing channels – including your website, email, newsletters and social media – to drive awareness of your financial education program.  Your marketing partners will likely be thrilled to have some new and interesting content to add to their communications.

Tip 3: Be Timely

Focus your communications around seasonally relevant content. Below are some ideas to get you started, simply click on each topic name to access our associated marketing toolkit resources. If you don’t currently feature one of these topics in your program, contact EverFi and we’ll work with you to come up with an alternate idea.
  • Credit Cards: 38.1% of all U.S. households2 own some sort of credit card debt, totaling more than $929 billion in total revolving debt across the country.  Learn more about the differences between credit and debit cards, varying payment terms, and how to choose and use credit cards responsibly.
  • Identity Protection: Consumer fraud is more common than you may think.  According to Business Wire, more than $15 billion was stolen from 13.1 million U.S. consumers in 2015 alone.  Don’t let yourself be the next victim!  Learn more about how to keep your personal and financial information secure and be aware of potential scams.
  • Mobile Payments: According to a recent study conducted on behalf of The Pew Charitable Trusts, 46% of U.S. consumers have made a mobile payment at least once.4 Do you know the benefits and risks of making payments with your mobile device?

Remember, each of our topics are specifically designed to accommodate today’s busy adult.  They are mobile and tablet accessible, available in both English and Spanish, and only 2-7 minutes in length.  Many courses also feature Action Plans with budgeting and planning tools to reinforce positive behavior and help users take positive steps toward better financial health.

Happy planning, and please reach out to us with any questions at info@everfi.com.

 

Sources:

  1. National Retail Federation
  2. Value Penguin
  3. Javelin Strategy and Research
  4. The PEW Charitable Trusts