Spar Nord empowers future generations with savings apps

Efma feature

08 July 2019

Spar Nord is putting future generations at the core of two of its recent initiatives, Ernit and Young Money. As part of Efma’s summer series for 2019 titled ‘How Efma members are embracing sustainability’, Ole Madsen, Senior Vice President of Communication & Innovation, spoke to Boris Plantier about how the Danish bank is empowering children to save and spend responsibly.

In an increasingly cashless world of credit cards and mobile payments, children nowadays rarely catch a glimpse of bank notes and coins. To give them a better understanding of the value of money, Spar Nord partnered with Ernit, a mobile application aimed at young children.

“Ernit is a virtual piggy bank that helps to give small children sound financial habits. Using Ernit, children receive visual, emotional and tactile stimuli as they learn about pocket money and savings. In this way, Ernit brings back the sensory experience of money in an otherwise digital world,” said Madsen.

The piggy bank app makes digital money tangible and is the first of its kind connected to a real bank account. This allows users to set concrete savings goals within the app and see them come to life in an engaging and interactive way. The picture-heavy interface with bright colours and sounds turns what used to be a serious and unstimulating topic - learning about saving – into a fun experience.

In 2017, Spar Nord launched a second mobile solution aimed at the younger generation. “Young Money is a banking concept for 7-12 year-olds developed in-house,” said Madsen. “The concept consists of a debit card that cannot be overdrawn and an app which visualises income and expenses in a dynamic and graphic way.”

The vision behind Young Money is to equip kids with the essential skills in order to deal with their savings and payments, and to create a dialogue between children and their parents. “The app promotes healthy financial habits as it is also used by the parents to stimulate conversations about prudent financial practices.”

According to Madsen, these initiatives are serving a worthwhile societal purpose – teaching the next generation to be mindful with their money and to develop a sensible relationship with saving.

“It makes perfect sense for a bank to work with sustainable initiatives in this exact area (a perfect example of business-driven sustainability). Teaching kids of the cashless age about the function and value of money is a societal challenge worth taking on – and a very interesting first touchpoint with future customers.”

Spa_nord_1.jpg (81 KB)Spa_nord_2.jpg (68 KB)

Both innovative solutions have been taken up by customers with enthusiasm since their launch.

“In the first year since launch, we have on-boarded more than 10,000 new customers on the solutions – which is a highly satisfactory result considering our size and the size of our market. Furthermore, Ernit has won a number of prizes and thereby contributed further to getting sound financial habits on the agenda,” concludes Madsen.

Banner_report_page_Efma_Congress_650x80.jpg (28 KB)

Keywords : Digital/Mobile channels , Youth , Corporate social responsibility (CSR) , Savings

Geography : Denmark