UNITED Overseas Bank (M) Bhd (UOB) has partnered with Visa to launch the Money Wise Street Smart programme to instil better financial awareness and investment habits among Malaysians.
The financial literacy programme was devised to address concerns found in the Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes Study 2016 that more than six in 10 Malaysians (63%) considered their financial literacy levels less than adequate.
UOB Malaysia managing director and personal financial services country head Ronnie Lim said people, especially youngsters, tend to shy away from financial education.
“We are doing this because we are concerned that numbers in the study will continue to grow,” said Lim during the launch at Grand Hyatt Hotel, Kuala Lumpur.
Lim also said the partnership with Visa to start the inaugural programme would tap into a larger audience faster and targeted to reach out to about 10,000 people.
“UOB Malaysia is taking the lead but we hope other banks in Malaysia will follow our footstep,” said Lim, who hopes to continue the initiative for years to come.
According to the Malaysian Insolvency Department, over 41 Malaysians are going bankrupt daily, with the numbers rising.
Visa country manager for Malaysia Ng Kong Boon stressed the importance of providing Malaysians with the opportunity to build up their awareness and money management skills.
“Educating Malaysians on the importance of money management needs to start at a young age,” added Ng.
The Money Wise Street Smart programme is open to all in peninsular Malaysia, and adopts a “learn through play” approach consisting of seminars, workshops, a financial literacy guidebook, and an online Financial Aptitude and Success Traits (FAST) assessment test.
A total 60 workshops for children aged nine to 15 will be carried out by MoneyTree Asia Pacific Sdn Bhd, with a discounted price offered to UOB customers.
Twelve interactive and educational financial simulation board game workshops using the Praxis board game are also being held at a number of local universities from now until November.
The first board game workshop was held at Tunku Abdul Rahman University College (TARUC) on June 17 with a turnout of 500 students.
“The board game was fun, interesting and easy to understand,” said Tan Xi Rou, 18, who attended the workshop at the college.
“Through the game, I learned about buying properties and shares, the benefits of savings accounts and the importance of investing,” added Tan.
Two winners with the best financial planning results from the board game workshops stand a chance to qualify for the UOB Internship Programme in 2018.
The online FAST test which will be launched on July 15 on UOB Malaysia’s website is the first online financial aptitude test being offered in Malaysia.
“The test attempts to ask general questions to see what the participant’s attitude towards money is, and rate their financial literacy” said MoneyTree Asia Pacific chief executive officer Michael Reyes.
For details on the programme, visit www.uob.com.my