Visa believes that one of the most important tools to spur financial inclusion is not a product, it is knowledge. Financial literacy--the knowledge of financial fundamentals such as saving, budgeting, the wise use of credit and responsible spending--is a core component to bringing more people around the world responsibly into the formal financial system.
Visa's innovative Financial Football educational game integrates important financial lessons with an interactive, engaging approach. To meet unique cultural needs, Financial Football will be rolled out in over a dozen countries, in fully adapted, in-language versions. This will allow people to learn culturally relevant information and reach the underserved in each of these regions. Financial Football will be playable online and distributed by partner organizations on discs for those who do not have Internet access. The Financial Football web sites will go live on September 23, 2009 in conjunction with the announcement at CGI. In the United States, those websites will be www.financialfootball.com and www.financialsoccer.com <http://www.financialsoccer.com>.
A diverse coalition of partners is being assembled in each country to best integrate personal finance with the audiences that are most in need. For example, in the United States, Visa is partnering with FIFA, NYSE Euronext, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, and the National Disability Institute to reach a wide array of underserved people ranging from first generation Latino immigrants, to disabled people, to school children. In addition, Visa is launching teacher training programs to empower educators to bring the important life lessons of personal finance into their classroom using Financial Football.
Between launch in September 2009 and target goal completion in May 2013, Visa will use existing Internet and financial literacy channels to distribute Financial Football to consumers, teachers, and parents. Visa also will be working with banks, non-governmental organizations, and government agencies to distribute the educational game to their customers, clients, and constituents.
The Financial Football game is the latest resources in Visa's decade-long commitment to financial literacy. In addition to Financial Football, robust programs will continue running to help people manage their money wisely. These successful base programs, combined with Financial Football, represent the mechanisms that Visa will use to reach its CGI commitment.
Each quarter, Visa will measure progress toward the overall goal of reaching 20 million people. Having already reached 5 million people, Visa aims to reach just over one million people with financial education each quarter between October 2009 and May 2013 in order to meet the goal.
Visa is committed to making a positive difference in the world, a commitment that is driven by its concern for the economic and social well-being of others. Visa has a valuable contribution to make as a global payments business to help bring more people into the formal financial system as a key step in these people lifting themselves out of poverty. By providing greater access to financial services, Visa creates the chance for people in need to work toward better futures. Visa works to increase financial inclusion through innovative products, services, payments expertise, philanthropy, strategic partnerships and through financial literacy programs.
This year, Visa is doubling its commitment made at CGI in 2008 to reach ten million people worldwide with financial literacy education. After only 18 months, Visa was half way to that goal and had reached five million people. This year, Visa commits to double its original goal and empower 20 million people with financial literacy by May 1, 2013. To help reach this robust goal, Visa has formed partnerships with the public and non-profit sectors to create a cutting-edge approach for teaching personal finance that taps the passion for the World Cup with the engaging, interactivity of a video game. Visa will use this game, in complement with Visa's breadth of other financial literacy resources, to reach their goal.
Below are highlights from Visa's existing financial literacy programs achieved between September 2008 (when Visa announced its commitment to reach 10 million people with financial education) and April 2009:
- Launched a responsibility campaign in the U.S. to provide easy access to personal finance educational tools for parents, teachers, students, and consumers
- Launched America's largest employer-based financial literacy program with McDonald's, reaching 500,000 of the restaurant chain's workers.
- Held a global financial literacy summit with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and economic leaders from the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Russia.
- Joined with the Nippon Association of Consumer Consultants in Japan for a three-week financial literacy project with the Ministry of Education and others that involved teacher training, textbook distribution, and the introduction of middle and high school curricula to 100 public schools across the nation.
- Worked with the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) and the Singapore Management University (SMU) to launch a 'Practical Money Skills for Life' financial literacy program. Through the program, more than 100 educators from more than 25 schools have been trained.
- Created a program in the Middle East that teaches individuals how to manage their finances. This program includes a website in both Arabic and English that covers financial basics, such as budgeting, saving, managing your accounts, using cards wisely, shopping online and preventing fraud
- Developed a partnership with Teach For America to bring financial literacy education to corps members and to their students.
- Developed a partnership with Oxfam America that includes incorporating financial literacy education into their programs in regions around the world.
In addition to these financial literacy initiatives, Visa also has supported other programs focused on building inclusive economic growth by helping entrepreneurs and others in need gain access to the financial system:
- Visa has supported FINCA International's Village Banking Campaign, an effort to establish new village banks-gatherings of neighbors in poor communities into financial support groups to provide small loans to families to invest in their microenterprises. With Visa support, FINCA works closely with its clients to help them build their businesses so they can earn more, become part of the larger marketplace, and enter the global economy.
- Visa has partnered with ACCION to support financial literacy programs around the world and fund Innovation Labs examining ways to remove barriers to microfinance, provide access to finance, and help others lift themselves out of poverty.
- Visa has partnered with Oxfam America to support Saving for Change, a microfinance program that provides improved savings and lending services for those at the bottom of the economic pyramid; Saving for Change supports village groups that act as their own community banks with members saving, lending, borrowing and paying each other interest. This system fills a need when formal banking and lending institutions are not available.
SEEKING: implementing partners, best practice information, media and marketing opportunities.
Visa is looking for CGI members to partner with them to co-brand and distribute Financial Football to their constituencies in order to broaden the reach of personal finance education and deepen financial inclusion worldwide. They are also looking for thought leading partners who can take Financial Football and innovate further to expand impact and reach.
OFFERING: implementing partnership, best practice information, media and marketing assistance.
Visa is offering CGI governmental, NGO and private sector members an opportunity to take a globally valuable asset that harnesses the power of the World Cup and partner with Visa to share this asset. By working with Visa and co-branding Financial Football, CGI members can raise their profile and demonstrate their commitment to positive change and investing in human capital. Co-branding and distributing Financial Football is being provided at no cost to CGI members by Visa. Financial Football also offers CGI members an opportunity to create a strong connection with their constituents and attract new members through the popularity of football/ soccer.