Studies show that easy access and education can lead to increase in accounts among the younger generation.
Last year, Welch ATM spoke with AmeriChoice Federal Credit Union about their in-school financial services/education initiatives. At that time, Rebekah Frischkorn, Marketing Specialist for the institution, reported that in school branches and ATMs were a big success…and the success only grew the longer the program continued. Transaction volumes for in-school ATMs averaged around 350 per month in 2012 and reached around 460 per month in 2013.
Now a new study from the US treasury department shows what AmeriChoice has already discovered…financial presence and education in schools can be a trigger for students to seek out accounts. The study covers two instances of school-based banking or “bank-at-school” programs. These programs, provided by banks and credit unions, are designed to pair financial education with regular banking access available at school.
The study, utilizing 4th and 5th grade students at schools in Eau Claire, Wisconsin and Amarillo, Texas, found that students showed an increased financial knowledge after receiving education. Financial education also correlated to an increase in account use. Having a bank or credit union on premise was also found to increase the likelihood of students being banked.
Due to the recent economic downturn, families and government officials have begun to recognize that financial education is essential. This study was the first full evaluation of the introduction of banking options and financial education through public school systems. Financial institution partnership was provided by Wisconsin-based Royal Credit Union and Happy State Bank, based in Texas.
The study concluded that partnerships between financial institutions and state banks are beneficial to students, especially when partnered with in-school bank and credit union presence. While this strategy may help increase financial literacy, it also introduces brands and services and increases communication between financial institutions and the next generation of account holders.