ESB Financial, a fourth-generation, family-owned community bank based in Kansas, won Honorable Mention recognition at the 2018 National Community Bank Service Awards sponsored by the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA). The community bank earned plaudits for its deployment of MoneyIsland, an online game developed by multiple-time Best of Show winner Kasasa that helps teach children the importance of money management.
“It’s never too early to promote good money management habits,” ESB Financial CEO James Wayman said. “Our MoneyIsland game from Kasasa was designed with kids in mind and is an innovative approach to exploring financial concepts that will serve them well throughout their lives.”
The importance of learning healthy financial habits can be challenging enough for adults. But when it comes to youngsters, gamification can play an especially helpful role. “We believe it can be fun,” Kasasa CEO Gabe Krajicek said. “This is why we created MoneyIsland. It’s a great way to teach kids about budgeting, taxes, and credit in a fun and exciting way.”
MoneyIsland combines an online experience with an offline curriculum that focuses on three areas: Saving and Spending, Sharing and Investing, and Using Credit Wisely. Children playing the game learn about important money management concepts and improve their math skills as they play MoneyIsland, which is based on traveling to popular (and imagined) destinations around the world to save down-on-his-financial-luck character, Stone Broke. The game won Kasasa (demoing as BancVue) Best of Show honors at FinovateSpring 2011.
Calling the game a “huge value for financial institutions,” Krajicek added that other community FIs and credit unions should “follow in ESB Financial’s footsteps” when it comes to providing innovative ways to reach out to their customers. He added, “Consumers want to work with institutions that demonstrate a commitment to financial literacy and this game is an ideal way to do so while also providing a means to more deeply engage with customers.”
Kasasa demonstrated its Kasasa Loans solution at FinovateSpring 2018, winning Best of Show. The Austin, Texas-based fintech was founded in 2004 and has more than 800 community financial institution clients. With more than $2 billion in rewards paid out to consumers, and more than $900 million in non-interest income generated for Kasasa clients, the company partnered with MicroStrategy in April, and teamed up with MeridianLink in March.