Magazine article American Banker

Bring Financial Literacy to the Classroom

Magazine article American Banker

Bring Financial Literacy to the Classroom

Article excerpt

The financial community has contributed to financial literacy but can and should do more.

Without question, the best customers for any payment card company are those who use their cards wisely. An educational investment must be made.

Payment cards have revolutionized the way consumers exercise their purchasing power. Credit cards are no longer the only kind; we now have debit, automated teller machine, check, and gift cards, as well as Visa's Buxx Card, which is designed to let parents monitor their teens' spending and to teach young people how to budget.

Citibank is sponsoring a 10-year financial literacy program, and Visa's online program, Practical Money Skills for Life, makes financial education possible in every classroom.

As new card products abound and consumers have more choice and convenience, local banks need to to pitch in. Who better to visit a classroom and teach money management than a local bank representative?

Financial literacy organizations, coalitions, and the card associations provide a wealth of information, but teachers and school administrations need community support to actually use it.

Retail banks' message to youngsters must include a greater commitment to lifelong savings. Children are growing up in a technological society that provides round-the-clock advertising for a buyer's market. They need guidance to choose wisely. Shaping the perspective of children and young adults on spending, saving, and investing and on using credit will serve us all, now and in the future. …

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