In life, every Ringgit counts. That’s the message behind “Mind Your Ringgit,” a new financial literacy-themed web game developed by Visa, the world's leader in digital payments.
A demo version of the web game was recently launched to a group of Malaysians who were selected for a closed group pilot testing. The game will be made available to the public early next year.
The goal of the game is simple: to educate young Malaysians on how to make informed financial decisions. This one-year simulation-based game will involve scenarios depicting real-life events where players are required to make financial decisions every month.
The game aims to challenge and educate young Malaysians on how to better manage finances, understand financial concepts, as well as help, shed light on the consequences of the decisions they make - efforts that are in line with the strategic priorities under the National Strategy for Financial Literacy 2019-2023.
The game incorporates financial themes such as digital payments, financial scams, insurance, investments, loans, and savings. The name of the game is derived from the acronym MYR, which is the international code for the Malaysian Ringgit, reminding players that every Ringgit counts.
The initiative, launched as part of Malaysia’s Financial Literacy Month 2020 (FLM 2020), is also in support of the financial literacy efforts driven by the Financial Education Network (FEN), co-chaired by Bank Negara Malaysia and Securities Commission Malaysia.
“At Visa, we have been focused on promoting the importance of financial literacy for many years now, including partnerships with Agensi Kaunseling dan Pengurusan Kredit (AKPK), who is also a member of the Financial Education Network. We continue to be committed to creating new and relevant financial education programs that ensure Malaysians are equipped with the knowledge to manage their finances,” said Ng Kong Boon, Visa Country Manager for Malaysia.
“Mind Your Ringgit is a creative way that adopts a digital approach towards helping young Malaysians learn how to balance their money, health, and happiness based on real-life scenarios,” he added.
Azaddin Ngah Tasir, Chief Executive Officer for AKPK added, "It has always been our aspiration to create a financially-savvy society, especially among the young adults. Visa’s Mind Your Ringgit, a financial web game, targeted to enhance the financial literacy level among the youth, is deemed aptly and timely,” he said.
“The situation has now become even more challenging due to the unprecedented pandemic COVID-19 that warrants behavioural changes and new ways of doing things in adapting to the new norm. Our heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to Visa for another successful year of strategic and successful collaboration and also for supporting our Financial Literacy Month 2020 initiated by Financial Education Network (FEN),” Azaddin added.
What is financial literacy and why is it important?
Though we hear the term being frequently used online, especially on educational portals like ours, do we actually understand what makes up the different components of financial literacy?
Generally, financial literacy is defined as the ability to understand and effectively use various financial skills, whether it is personal financial management, budgeting, or investing.
Simple things like living within our means and practicing moderation are essential values that, when carried out consistently, could lead to a healthy, productive and fulfilling life.
Yet, recent surveys conducted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and Bank Negara Malaysia indicate that Malaysians have low financial knowledge and practice a “myopic live for today" attitude when it comes to personal financial management.
The current state of financial literacy in Malaysia according to National Strategy for Financial Literacy 2019-2023
- Malaysians have low confidence regarding their own financial knowledge - 1 in 3 Malaysians rate themselves to be of low financial knowledge.
- 75% of Malaysians understand that inflation means that cost of living is rising, but only 38% can understand the effects of inflation on their own purchasing power.
- Low income households tend to have lower financial knowledge.
- 76% of Malaysians have a budget, but 2 in 5 find it difficult to keep to the budget.
- 43% of Malaysians understand that the growth of money is compounded over time, while 22% believe that money grows on linear basis
What is the National Strategy for Financial Literacy 2019-2023?
With that backdrop in mind, the then-Malaysian government introduced the National Strategy for Financial Literacy 2019-2023 (National Strategy), a holistic five-year plan aimed at elevating the financial literacy of Malaysians, promoting responsible behaviour and a rational attitude, with the aim of improving the financial well-being of Malaysians.
This National Strategy was crafted by the Financial Education Network (FEN), an inter-agency platform that is co-chaired by Bank Negara Malaysia and the Securities Commission, and comprises institutions and agencies committed to improve the financial literacy of Malaysians.
The National Strategy is centred around five main strategic priorities relevant to various life stages of Malaysians, and each priority focuses on certain goals, action plans, and outcomes in the next five years.
What are the five main strategic priorities under the National Strategy?
Strategic Priority 1: Nurture values from young
Starting our kids young comes with its perks. This strategic priority aims to start expanding financial education fundamentals to our younger generation at an earlier age by bringing it into the curriculum for preschool, primary and secondary schools.
This knowledge would later be reinforced in financial education through co-curricular activities, and through the introduction of capacity development and support for teachers.
This goal also aims to empower the establishment of financial education advocates among students, parental groups and the community.
Strategic Priority 2: Increase access to financial management information, tools and resources
Having the right tools and resources is essential for success. This priority aims to make basic financial education information easily understood, available and accessible to all while also increasing the awareness and intensifying financial education initiatives through nationwide outreach campaigns.
Strategic Priority 3: Inculcate positive behaviour among targeted groups
Gaining knowledge means nothing without knowing how to apply the knowledge and skills properly.
Besides imparting financial knowledge to promote positive financial behaviour among the youth, this goal also aims to encourage financial education at the workplace to promote financial resilience, which could have a positive impact on employees' productivity.
This goal also strives to foster good money management practices through community-based financial education, and by helping the self-employed equipped themselves with financial knowledge to encourage self and business sustainability.
Strategic Priority 4: Boost long term financial and retirement planning
We will all lose if we don’t play the long game.
This priority aims to promote the use of innovative guides and tools to improve long-term financial planning, create awareness and promote the benefits of seeking professional advice on financial planning.
Besides that, this goal aims to promote voluntary savings channels and platforms to encourage income diversification, while also educating Malaysians to make long-term financial plans for retirement.
Strategic Priority 5: Building and safeguarding wealth
Finally, the last step is knowing how to safeguard the wealth that you have built.
This is done through the understanding of risks and returns when it comes to building wealth, while also improving the awareness on innovation of financial products and services.
Raising awareness on financial scams and fraud, another aim of this goal, will also help citizens identify what they should avoid.