Press Release 2017

UOB Malaysia partners Visa to launch Financial Literacy Programme -
Money Wise Street Smart

Visa study finds that more than six in 10 Malaysians said they are not proficient enough in financial literacy

Kuala Lumpur, 6 July 2017 - United Overseas Bank (Malaysia) Bhd (UOB Malaysia) has partnered global payments technology company, Visa, to launch Money Wise Street Smart, a financial literacy programme aimed at instilling financial awareness and better savings and investment habits among Malaysian consumers.

The Money Wise Street Smart programme aims to help address the findings of the Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes Study 20161 which found that more than six in 10 Malaysians (63 per cent) said their financial literacy levels are less than adequate. Conversely, only four per cent of respondents polled considered themselves to be very financially literate.

Despite the self-confessed low levels of financial literacy among Malaysian consumers, respondents appreciated the importance of saving and investing for their financial futures. The top three reasons why more than half of all respondents (55 per cent) have both savings and investments2 were to be able to save for a rainy day, to build a retirement fund and to generate income in the form of interest.

Mr Ronnie Lim, Managing Director and Country Head of Personal Financial Services, UOB Malaysia, said, "The findings of the Visa study suggest that Malaysians place a high value on saving and investing but feel they lack the knowledge to make informed financial decisions. In line with our national directive to empower and to protect financial consumers through comprehensive financial education, UOB Malaysia has partnered with Visa to launch the Money Wise Street Smart programme to raise financial literacy levels among children, young adults and parents."

The Money Wise Street Smart programme has been designed with three distinct groups in mind: children between the ages of nine and 15, young adults from the ages of 18 to 34 and parents up to age of 50. As part of the programme, consumers will be able to identify their level of financial competency and understanding through the online FAST (Financial Aptitude and Success Traits3) assessment test. The programme adopts a "learn through play" approach comprising workshops, seminars and a financial literacy guidebook. Children and young adults will be taught concepts of money management through Marvel Comics and interactive board games organised by Visa. The programme is open to all UOB Malaysia customers and students from universities participating in the programme.

"The UOB Money Wise Street Smart Financial Literacy programme utilises innovative and engaging learning strategies to help anchor the three core pillars of financial education - managing your money, creating wealth and insuring oneself. By helping both children and their parents, we can ensure financial education is taught at a young age and reinforced at home through parents’ good financial habits. We are also tying up with a number of local universities to raise financial awareness among millennials and young adults, who are about to enter their prime earning years," Mr Lim said.

UOB Malaysia and Visa conduct financial simulation board game workshops for 2,500 university students

As part of the UOB Money Wise Street Smart Financial Literacy programme, UOB Malaysia and Visa will also introduce the financial education board game, Praxis to 2,500 university students in Malaysia. Praxis is a board game designed to simulate personal financial management scenarios in different economic climates and situations. Each participant competes against four other players to discover how they can best manage their finances.

"Visa is excited to partner UOB Malaysia for the first time to launch this comprehensive financial literacy programme in Malaysia. Educating Malaysians on the importance of money management starts at a young age. Visa Malaysia has been working closely with several stakeholders in the last four years to increase our engagement with children and youths to promote financial literacy in the country. We believe that this partnership with UOB will enable us to reach out to more young adults in Malaysia to educate them on the concepts of money management," said KB Ng, Visa Country Manager for Malaysia.

Up to 12 board game workshops will be held at a number of local university campuses from now until November 2017. The first board game workshop was held at Tunku Abdul Rahman University College on 17 June 2017. The second will be held on 17 August 2017 at Monash University Malaysia.

Upon completion of the board game workshops, winners with the best financial planning results will qualify for two places in the 2018 UOB Internship Programme.

The Money Wise Street Smart programme will run to September 2017 across Peninsular Malaysia. In addition to Visa, other partners include MoneyTree Asia Pacific Sdn Bhd, UOB Asset Management (Malaysia) Berhad, UOB Kay Hian Securities (M) Sdn. Bhd., Akisama Group of Companies and Exsim Development Sdn Bhd.

For more information on the Money Wise Street Smart programme, log on to or visit a UOB Malaysia branch.


1 Conducted by Visa, the Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes Study 2016 surveyed 500 respondents nationwide aged between 18 and 51 years through an online poll in September 2016. Respondents were asked to rate their financial literacy levels between one and 10 where 63 per cent of respondents rated themselves seven and below and 4 per cent rated themselves 10 out of 10.
2 Savings include funds deposited into private pension fund policies and bank deposit accounts, while investments are defined as funds deposited into unit trusts and securities.
3 The online Financial Aptitude and Success Traits assessment test (FAST) is the first of its kind in Malaysia. It is developed in partnership with MoneyTree, a leading financial literacy education provider in Asia Pacific and designed to understand an individual’s level of financial competency. 

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