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Global social network that aims to teach kids about money

PRESS RELEASE
Westforce Credit Union
3 December 2012

Global social network that aims to teach kids about money made possible by Kiwi ‘can do’

An initiative between Auckland’s Westforce Credit Union and United States based ‘emagineIF’ – a new platform that empowers families to learn, play and grow together – means Kiwi kids will be the first in the world to benefit from the internationally anticipated objective based social network.

When developer of emagineIF (that has as one of its primary aims to help parents teach their kids how to manage money), Jeff Donnelly, was struggling to find an American based financial institution to partner with, and a unique opportunity developed to move his family to New Zealand and further develop his idea through the ICEHOUSE. (Voted by Forbes Magazine as one of the Top 10 Incubators in the World)

Mr. Donnelly spent a year in New Zealand working with the IceHouse, a major bank and various business and University of Auckland leaders, before a chance meeting on a footie field with the operations manager of Westforce Credit Union, Victor Martick, made it all happen.

Mr Martick said Westforce Credit Union believes that emagineIF can make a difference to the people Westforce Credit Union serves, particularly the younger generation.

“There is nothing out there at the moment that helps parents teach their kids about how to manage their money, and I would suggest that most parent’s are failing their children in that area.

“There is a massive focus and priority on retirement by Government, but if we get down to where it starts and get the children on board, they will become switched on adults.

“Children need to be captivated and the best way to teach them is by making it fun. emagineIF provides a secure social network – linked to financial transaction facilities – where parents can help their children discover their passions in life, learn financial literacy, and socialise.”

Mr Martick said it is particularly exciting for Westforce Credit Union because emagineIF encourages a work ethic, and dynamically demonstrates the relationship between work and money.

emagineIF teaches work and savings habits. For example, parents post a chore on emagineIF, along with the amount they will pay their child for that chore. Once the chore is completed, the parent receives a notification via their phone. He or she ticks it off – with the option to automatically credit the child’s special emaginIF EFTPOS card.

“Children are also paid in virtual money that can be used for fun, games and puzzle activities on the site. emagineIF is free to anybody, and they don’t have to use a financial facility like Westforce – we’re a value added add-on. Parents can do it alone with their kids,” Mr Martick said.

One option is for a child’s Westforce Credit Union account to automatically allocate certain percentages of their pocket money to specific accounts, such as the ‘working’ account, a savings account and ‘special projects’ (like saving for that bike) accounts.

“Good financial common sense is easier than some might think with the right tools and right support. emagineIF helps children learn about where money comes from, and how to save money. The whole family can be involved in the process.”

Inside emagineIF children can explore the possibilities of his or her growth, creativity and passions and because emagineIF is an objective-based social network, it enables the whole family to stay connected in the real world. If Facebook is meant to connect outward, emagineIF is meant to connect inward – family-to-family.

“There's pure entertainment value to emagineIF, but there's more than that. emagineIF gives us tools as parents, role models, and guardians of a child's happiness and potential.

“Track a child's mood, play games, discover interests, map emotional growth, educate responsibility, create life-learning opportunities, and catalogue every step of a child's development in a digital profile.”

Mr Martick says Wesforce Credit Union worked to make emagineIF a reality because it's a powerful tool that can assist the credit union achieve its mission to help people stay out of debt and practice thrift.

Ends/…

About Westforce Credit Union

westforce™ Credit Union is not a registered bank but a locally owned and operated FINANCIAL SERVICE PROVIDER that offers financial services to its MEMBER/OWNERS with offices situated in West Auckland, South Auckland and Whangarei.

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