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No Time Like a COVID-Related Downturn During National Financial Literacy Month to Boost Your Financial Education Efforts

mini graduation cap on roll of money
By Bolun Li

3 minutes

CommunityWide FCU offers members Zogo app with accessible modules and rewards to spur their learning.

In late October 2019, $474 million, 52,000-member CommunityWide Federal Credit Union piloted Zogo’s award-winning financial literacy app to provide an engaging educational experience to its community. It has helped the South Bend, Indiana-based CU’s users (both members and non-members) understand such important financial topics as taxes, investing, and 401(k)s.

Today, in the middle of National Financial Literacy Month and a volatile economy, Zogo has added 10 coronavirus-related modules for CommunityWide FCU users.

Built on the idea that people will undertake financial literacy education if it’s broken down into bite-sized modules that they get rewarded for completing, the Zogo app contains more than 300 learning modules designed by Duke University behavioral science professors and rewards users for completing those modules with gift cards to such popular retail outlets as Starbucks, Apple, Nike, Amazon and CVS. A user earns about $5 in gift card value for each 30 modules completed.

Within a few months of the pilot’s launch, CommunityWide FCU’s members had spent more than 2,000 hours learning on Zogo and collectively completed more than 30,000 educational modules.

Zogo’s platform has now engaged CommunityWide FCU’s members and non-members across the northern Indiana region. Based on the latest stats, a quarter of the users on Zogo with CommunityWide FCU who did not already have a CommunityWide FCU account are now interested in opening an account with the credit union—which could prompt significant growth.

According to CommunityWide FCU President/CEO Andrew Burggraf, implementing the Zogo app is consistent with the organization’s mission of serving the needs of members and the community.

“We recognize that many of the day-to-day financial decisions made by our members could be drastically improved with a better understanding of basic financial principles that would improve their lives,” says Burggraf. “Providing this needed education is consistent with the purpose of our credit union—to help improve our members’ lives and promote the betterment of the communities we serve today.”

CommunityWide FCU was part of a select small group of financial institutions piloting the Zogo program in late 2019. Based on initial usage of the app, the program was deemed to be a success and the credit union has since elected to continue with the program to provide the service to its members.

“We have received positive feedback from our members using the app and continue to monitor ongoing enthusiastic participation,” Burggraf adds. “We are very satisfied with the results and have committed to offering the service to our members ongoing.”

CommunityWide FCU intends to assist Zogo in further development of the product and will continue to look for ways to market the service to its members.

“If other credit unions see the need to provide financial literacy to their members, Zogo is a worthwhile partner to consider,” says Burggraf. “Zogo has established a product that we feel is very effective. We value this opportunity to further provide a solution to serve our members’ needs. This move helps us to be a better financial resource for our community.”

Bolun Li is a Duke University student and a serial entrepreneur, being awarded “30 under 30” in 2018 for his previous startup. Today, he is contributing to the credit union movement with his company Zogo Finance, which incorporates behavioral science research into an award-winning, financial education app that pays users to learn. More than two dozen credit unions use app today to attract and engage younger generations. Zogo won NACUSO’s 2019 Next Big Idea Competition and achieved Best of Show at 2019 FinovateFall.

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