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Clever Money Coaching Initiative - CANSTAR Innovation Award

‘Clever’ Money Coaching Initiative Awarded CANSTAR Innovation Award

A unique workplace money coaching programme, designed to boost the financial health of hundreds of working kiwis, has been awarded this year’s prestigious CANSTAR Innovation Excellence Award.

It’s been long-recognised that many Kiwis face financial hardship and struggle with financial literacy. In an attempt to work towards a solution, South Island based credit union, NZCU South, developed Clever Me - a practical programme that enlists the help of employers by offering money coaching in the workplace.

Clever Me was singled out for special recognition by financial services research group CANSTAR, from a competitive field of unique products released in the last 12 months that were eligible for CANSTAR’s annual Innovation Excellence awards. CANSTAR applauded Clever Me for ‘doing’ rather than just ‘talking’ about the need for more financial education.

Clever Me works by assessing and tracking the 'financial health' of the workforce, with the relevant help and follow up provided in the form of a 'money coach'. The ‘money coach’ provides employees with personal help around budgeting, saving and support with specific financial situations. Financial goals are established and pathways to achieve them are developed.

Clever Me is not only about helping working Kiwis find and stick to the road of financial wellbeing but it’s actually how they are doing this that is the creative element,” says CANSTAR National Manager, Derek Bonnar.

“This program is effective because it enlists employers’ help by offering money coaching in the workplace. This is free for the employer and employees pay $10 per month after three months’ free coaching.”

“The fact that this unique programme encourages employee engagement more often than not results in improved productivity in the workplace – a win-win situation for everyone,” explains Mr Bonnar.

Andrew Leys, NZCU South CEO, says that the recognition gained via the CANSTAR Innovation Excellence award will enable Clever Me to further grow and help many more individuals develop financial literacy and confidence.

“Through our Clever Me programme, we are making financial coaching accessible and affordable. Employees feel empowered to make better financial choices and participating businesses seem to benefit from a happy, productive workforce,” says Mr Leys.

BNZ also received a CANSTAR Innovation Excellence award for its TotalMoney product for Small Business.

CANSTAR congratulated both BNZ and NZCU South for their innovative approach to very different consumer problems.

“To be categorised as innovative, a product or service should definitely be a first and perhaps open up a whole new market,” Mr Bonnar adds.

“There’s no doubt our top Innovation Excellence winners this year show an outstanding degree of innovation and impact on the target market, and we are proud to give these products and services the recognition they deserve.”

The CANSTAR Innovation Awards can be downloaded at For further information on NZCU South see www.nzcusouth.conz.


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