Are credit unions wasting money on financial education?

3 years ago, I was a senior in high school and my parents signed me up for a one-hour financial literacy workshop after school. I was annoyed but agreed to go. 

There were about 20 other kids in the room and a financial institution’s logo prominently displayed on the projector screen. A guy walked in and started:

“Today we’ll learn about budgeting, savings, investing, and taxes…Budgeting helps you provide purpose for your money…”

He was very knowledgeable and eloquent, but most of my friends quickly dozed off and started talking to each other – some were even playing on their phones. After all, this workshop didn’t count towards our GPA so students were not incentivized to engage.

At the end of the lecture, we clapped, said “Thank you”, and left the room. I got home and my parents asked me about the workshop, but I didn’t remember enough to share many details. 

Every year, credit unions invest millions of dollars sponsoring financial education in schools with the intention to improve the financial health of the next generation and build brand awareness in the community. But is it effective? 

Financial concepts (401k, IRA, 519…) are like a foreign language to kids and to master a “foreign language” in an hour is just impossible! When I got to Duke University, I partnered with my co-founder and one of Duke’s world-renowned behavioral scientists to tackle this problem. 

We drew inspiration from language learning apps, like Rosetta Stone and Duolingo, that break down language curriculums into bite-sized chunks and gamify the learning experience with animations and rewards. More importantly, the learning experience meets teenagers on their phones, where most kids spend their time these days. Today, Duolingo has an impressive 300 million users and the average user spends 10 minutes on the app every day.

Imagine if we could do the same for financial education. Imagine if we could motivate kids to go into the app every day for 10 minutes to learn financial literacy. 

Now picture this app with your brand prominently displayed on the screen at all times. 

Zogo has brought this vision to life with its financial education app. In just a year and a half, Zogo has won over ten national awards including the NACUSO Next Big Idea Competition and AARP Grand Finale. On October 31st, we will be launching pilot programs with 10 innovative credit unions nationwide and redefining financial education. Visit to see how our solution fits your organization and to schedule a demo with one of our committed onboarding specialists.

Bolun Li

Bolun Li

Bolun Li is the founder & CEO of Zogo, the award-winning Fin-Tech startup that gamifies financial literacy, specifically for Gen Z and next-gen audiences. Bolun started Zogo from his dorm ... Web: Details

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