Visa, one of the world’s largest retail electronic payments networks, has partnered with Baizat, a UAE-based provider of financial consulting services, to deliver a series of comprehensive financial literacy workshops in the UAE. The program aims to provide people of all ages and professions in the UAE with the tools to become financially independent and spend, save and budget responsibly.
Attended by students from local high schools, the first workshop was held recently in the town of Masafi. It was delivered in Arabic by moderator Salah Al-Halyan, founder of Baizat, with carefully crafted modules based on Visa’s ‘My MoneySkills Workbooks’, a unique program, available in both English and Arabic, which helps students learn the essentials of personal finance. More workshops are scheduled to be held, including today in Fujeirah and tomorrow in Umm Al Quwain.
Marcello Baricordi, Visa’s General Manager for the UAE and Global Accounts Lead MENA, said, “Visa believes that the most important financial tool is knowledge and we are delighted to partner with Baizat on this important initiative here in the UAE to provide people the knowledge they need to make responsible financial decisions.” Baricordi added, “Given that the youth will soon represent a major force in the economy, the consequences of their financial decision-making will substantially determine the future health of the economy. And, we believe that their impact is far reaching, as they tend to transfer their new knowledge and best practices to their families and communities. This is why we believe that it is crucial to provide youth with a sound financial education at this stage.”
Baizat founder, Salah Al-Halyan, commented, “It was a great honour for Baizat to have worked with Visa on these workshops. This partnership is a major step as it will allow us to continue improving the quality of the materials we produce, and the frequency at which we can present these workshops, which are designed to empower young people in the UAE with the knowledge and best practice they need to make informed financial decisions.”
Al-Halyan added, “We hope these workshops will be the beginning of a long term relationship among Baizat, and Visa, that will really make a long lasting, sustainable effort at encouraging financial literacy amongst youth in the UAE. We are confident the unique methods and advice offered during the workshops will change the way young people will look at their lives and at the most important financial decisions they will have to make in the future.”
Visa has been developing financial literacy programs since 1995 and today Visa’s global financial literacy initiative is localised across more than 30 countries. Visa’s ‘Practical Money Skills’ for Life program is an award-winning website that is aimed at helping consumers manage their money through all stages of life.
In the Middle East, the financial literacy website, MyMoneySkills (http://www.ehsib.com/), available in Arabic and English, covers financial basics such as budgeting, saving, bank account management, using cards wisely, online shopping and precautions against fraud. It helps students – from pre-schoolers and elementary school students, to teens and college students – learn the essentials of personal finance. The site also includes teacher-training material.
As part of its ongoing global financial literacy drive, Visa has also created sports-themed video games to appeal to and engage with more young people and get them excited about their financial futures. Titled Financial Football, the educational video game is accompanied by an extensive classroom curriculum.