Edfundo, a contemporary neobank application for children and youth, is set to launch within the UAE market, enabling parents to securely control their youngsters’ spending habits and boost their money management and saving abilities.
The Edfundo app and its associated pre-paid debit card are the creations of UAE-based Simon Wing and Andrew Toward; both of whom hold previous experience within the education sector.
Formerly teachers at the Rashid School for Boys in Dubai, the British partners have used their combined 25-year experience to address a pressing need for financial literacy primarily among the 8 to 18 age range.
The Edfundo app is secured by the use of biometric log-in and multi-factor authentication technology, as well as harbouring unique parental controls. Parents can upload funds and transfer allowance instantly, top-up their child’s card in a single click, set spending rules, set tasks or chores for their offspring to boost their earnings, decide where their youngsters can spend their money, get real-time notification of their spending, and instantly block or unblock cards at any time.
Edfundo is a timely initiative with the UAE population now comprising 1.4 million youngsters under the age of 14 who represent its fastest emerging segment.
“Having worked in schools in the UK and the UAE we know that financial literacy is not taught well and often isn’t taught at all,” said co-founder and Edfundo CEO Simon Wing.
“Indeed, even Andrew and I didn’t leave school with a good enough understanding of how best to manage our own money, and there is much to suggest a large majority of adults do not have the basic financial skills to make sound decisions with money. It’s time to right this vital educational oversight and not repeat past mistakes.”
Simon goes on to explain how Edfundo encourages kids and teens to make smarter choices with their money: “Once a member of the ‘Edfundo Squad’, youngsters can spend, save for a specific goal, as well as learn the power of saving for their future.”
He confirmed that the app is fully controlled by parents, and they can help motivate their children to save by adding chores for nominal ‘pocket money’ payment using Edfundo’s built-in flexible controls: “Simple but powerful dashboards track the youngster’s spending and saving, and they can use Edfundo to pay in-store or online with their pre-paid card, phone and watch using Apple Pay TM or Google Pay TM.”
The Edfundo pre-paid debit card can be used in all stores around the world and online where the Visa sign is displayed.
According to co-founder and COO, Andrew Toward, this is not first-to-market, but it is a first from those who know what makes kids tick.
“We are not the first to create a product like this and we certainly won’t be the last,” Andrew says. “But what differentiates us from the rest is education. As educators, we understand how children learn best and our company vision is driven by lifelong learning. The result is a super-secure, clean, engaging app design which makes learning about money simple, practical, safe, and rewarding.
“This is smart money management in action for a smarter generation,” Andrew stressed. “Young people learn by doing. Edfundo speaks to this and will help them to become money smart from an early age.
“Contrary to what many young children believe, money is not infinite and no, it does not grow on trees! With Edfundo’s tasks and chores feature, youngsters can develop an early understanding that work and money are connected.
“Being able to differentiate between ‘needs and wants’ helps children to become smarter with money and they can use the Edfundo saving goals feature to help decide whether to spend now or save for later.”
Wing shared that recent research carried out by Edfundo saw that many teens in the UAE spend over $100 a month, with some spending more than double that.
“Teens are a significant group with a passion for digital innovation. Overall, they are comfortable with modern technology tools, and this can be leveraged to improve their understanding of money management standing them in good stead for the future,” Simon explains.
“However, indications are that Millennials and older Gen Zs in the UAE are struggling to manage their own personal finances, lack financial education and tend to be higher spenders – up to three times more than their western peers – particularly in high-value segments.
“The need for financial education among the UAE’s youth is even more pressing given that older teenagers can now take up paid, part-time work with the recent initiative to offer work permits for young residents, from the age of 15.
“The lack of financial wisdom among our youth is an oversight which needs to be quickly addressed and Edfundo is a tool to plug this vital education gap,” he stressed.