KUALA LUMPUR: CIMB Foundation's Be$MART app, a user-friendly digital financial guide and planner specially curated for youth, is targeting at least 22,000 downloads of the app within a year.
It said on Monday the app allows users to effectively plan their finances, with features like budget tracking and updating, recurring transactions, goal tracking, as well as scheduled notifications of monthly expenses and upcoming bills.
“For the Be$MART workshop alumni, the app helps reinforce lessons on financial concepts and the different components of planning through useful tips and articles, to guide youths in managing their finances smartly, ” it said.
CIMB Foundation said this includes guidelines on retirement planning as early as possible.
Additional features include a personal report of users’ spending behaviour and recommendations for improvement.
It said the app complements the Foundation’s ongoing Be$MART financial literacy programme for university students. Since it was launched in 2016, it has benefited 15,000 students.
Just like the programme, the app encourages youths to be early adopters of good financial management habits in a fun and engaging way.
The foundation explained that low financial literacy among young Malaysians is the main reason why many end up as bankrupts.
Between 2013 and 2017, there were 100,610 Malaysians who were declared bankrupt, of which 60% were 18-44 years old.
It said that based on Credit Counselling and Debt Management Agency’s (AKPK) survey in 2018, one out of three Malaysians are not comfortable with their financial knowledge, while 52% of the population say they face difficulties raising even RM1,000 for emergencies.
Datuk Hamidah Naziadin, CEO, CIMB Foundation said the Be$MART app and financial literacy programme were to equip Malaysians with the knowledge to make informed financial decisions.
“Our target group is the youth, who make up 45.4% of Malaysia’s population. As future leaders and nation builders, it is important to empower them to take charge of their own financial health.
“This is exactly what the Be$MART app was designed to achieve: information and financial tips that are highly relevant to their daily lives are conveniently placed at their fingertips, enabling a quick reference or recall anytime, anywhere.”
Recently, CIMB Foundation signed an MoU with nine universities to equip their students with financial literacy skills through the foundation’s flagship Be$MART programme.
Through the MOU, the Foundation hopes to equip a further 10,000 students - particularly those from the B40 communities - with financial literacy skills by 2021.
Since its launch, the Be$MART programme has seen a measured increase in its beneficiaries’ financial knowledge by over 150%.
“Through our proprietary Be$MART syllabus, CIMB Foundation aims to not only leave a legacy of youths who are well-equipped to manage their finances smartly, but also address and mitigate the youth bankruptcy issue, ” Hamidah said.
The Be$MART programme is conducted by CIMB Foundation’s training partner, Gem Systems.
Financial literacy is part of the Foundation’s social agenda, which in turn feeds into the CIMB Group’s sustainability focus, a key pillar in the group’s current mid-term growth plan, Forward23.
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