With rising inflation, children need to be aware of the current economic climate and be financially prepared for the future. Financial literacy, which is seldom taught in schools, affects every aspect of people's lives. However, very few teenagers are exposed to this know-how and brush it aside as “boring, grown-up stuff.” Little Wallet aims to change this.
“Kids and teens today live, learn and play on their phones. These digital natives, with the attention span of 20-30 seconds, form a huge and previously unexplored market, for the financial services industry,” said Cyrus Daruwala, managing director, Global Financial Services at IDC. “Most customers often stay with their first bank, so it is important to introduce them to banking while they are young. Furthermore, most banking products are siloed and don't follow the cradle-to-grave lifecycle of a human being. This makes Little Wallet a world's first, wherein not only are you inducting kids and teens into the world of banking, but you also have their parents (and student) locked into a family wallet – sharing, transacting, monitoring, and instructing all at the same time.”
Under Visa's Fintech Fast Track Program, Little Wallet will leverage and access Visa's network and capabilities to grow card applying in the region. The scheme provides fintech startups, like Little Wallet, access to a growing partner network.
Dung Dang, Visa country manager of Vietnam and Laos said, “Visa has always championed financial literacy. Our Financial Literacy Program in Vietnam, which we started a decade ago in cooperation with the Central Committee of the Vietnam Students' Association, demonstrates that commitment to educate our young people on financial management."
"Our partnership with Little Wallet to launch in Southeast Asia is timely, given the high interest observed from youngsters to build up their wealth, but seeing the gaps in not knowing where they can go to for reliable financial advice,” she said.
Little Wallet founder Rahul Sharma said, "We are incredibly excited to be part of the prestigious group of startups selected for the Visa Fintech Fast Track Program. Being accepted into this scheme is a testament to Visa's endorsement of Little Wallet, further enhancing our customers' confidence in our offerings."
Sharma, an ex-banker with over 25 years of fintech experience working for DBS, Deutsche Bank, was joined by Phoebe Tran, a tech executive with over 15 years of experience working for Facebook and Google, to co-found Little Wallet.
The two met at the INSEAD Global Executive MBA programme. Little Wallet was a finalist at the INSEAD Venture Competition 2021 and emerged as one of the Top 3 at TechinAsia Startup Arena 2022.
Being parents themselves, they realised the importance of financial literacy, and understanding the huge gap and importance of smart money management.
Little Wallet offers a family banking app with a digital wallet. The smart ecosystem has features that promote healthy money habits to all generations, thus fostering financial wellbeing for the entire family.
The app guides parents through the basics of money fundamentals, and also is one of the firsts to introduce the concept of “Save Now, Buy Later” to teach kids the importance of saving.
Little Wallet, unlike the unintuitive banking apps of today, gamifies and visualizes all aspects of banking to make it fun and engaging. All this, whilst enabling full parenting oversight and controls in place.
“We want to give the kids and teens who use our products a great experience and also give parents the right tools to bring kids into becoming savvy, and financially literate consumers,” said co-founder Tran.
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