| Child & Youth Friendly Banking Award
Commonwealth Bank of Australia Program Name: School Banking Project and YouthSaver account | Country: Australia Partners: Staff Community Fund, Karrikins Group, behavior change experts, schools and volunteers
INTRODUCTION The Commonwealth Bank is Australia’s leading bank. The School Banking project is run by participating primary schools and is currently present in half of all Australian primary schools. It encourages children to regularly deposit money into their YouthSaver account and earn silver Dollarmites tokens, which can then be redeemed through an exciting Rewards Program. The YouthSaver product is a tailored savings account specifically designed to teach and reward children for regular savings. Teenagers 14 years and over can apply by themselves by dropping into a branch. A parent/ guardian is required to open an account on the child’s behalf if under 14 years of age. By making one deposit of any amount and no withdrawals each calendar month, the account will earn bonus interest. There are no monthly account fees and no withdrawal fees. In addition, participating schools receive 5% of every individual deposit made at school (up to $10), along with other benefits.
AN OUTSTANDING APPROACH The Commonwealth Bank has proven its commitment to children and youth over many years with an extensive network of schools taking part in the SchoolBanking initiative. This network has been built up over 85 years, engaging children in learning important money skills. The YouthSaver product encourages savings amongst youth through a reward program as they save. In addition, the School Banking program offers free financial education for children. This program is available to all primary schools nationwide, regardless of location or commercial banking arrangements. Both School Banking and Start Smart (a free financial education program) are delivered nationwide. Between 15% and 20% of School Banking and Start Smart customers are in low socioeconomic areas. Commonwealth Bank 58
respects children and the laws that protect them. Child serving employees and bank representatives all undergo “Working with Children” police checks and laws relating to parental/ guardian consent are adhered to. School Banking Specialists are connected with Co-ordinators (volunteers who run the program in schools) to monitor on-the-ground satisfaction. Two annual Customer Experience Surveys are run across all participating School Banking schools each year to get feedback on all aspects of the program.
ACHIEVEMENTS • The Commonwealth Bank has reached 1,600,000 children through its YouthSaver program and 330,000 through its SchoolBanking program respectively. Its StartSmart financial education program is one of the largest of its kind in the world. • In 2016 Commonwealth Bank launched a pilot program to test a new approach to financial education with a virtual reality headset and storybook to teach kids about money. The trial was so successful that Commonwealth Bank is rolling the program out to all Grade 1 and 2 students who participate in Start Smart in 2017. • The Commonwealth Bank’s commitment to innovation has also included a significant project to reimagine School Banking for the digital age with the results due to be launched shortly. The evaluations of Start Smart consistently show that students have high levels of satisfaction with the program and find it relevant and valuable. In addition, follow up surveys find evidence that students do indeed apply something they learnt in the workshop. JUDGES’ THOUGHTS The product has a very well balanced profile on all dimensions. It shows a strong and innovative commitment to financial education, and provides tangible rewards and benefits to savers. Moreover, it was able to achieve a high participation rate and,
more importantly, high satisfaction levels, which are illustrated by active monitoring activities. Finally, Commonwealth Bank of Australia has a long-standing history of promoting youth fin