Banqer went along to Murray’s Bay Intermediate on the North Shore to launch our latest module, Credit Reporting. Two avid Banqer classrooms joined together and played host for the afternoon. That meant 66 students, seven cakes, four credit reporters, three teachers, and two Banqers, all working our way through lessons on credit scores, debt and plenty more.

Serious scheming was also uncovered to have our beloved mascot Coink overthrown and replaced with Rose the classroom’s pet turtle. So if anything happens to Coink, fear the worst.

So, why credit reporting?

In Banqer, students have the autonomy to manage their money the way they see fit but as with all things in life, there are consequences. We therefore encourage students to think beyond the here and now and consider whether their decisions help them achieve their longer term goals.

Another element to consider in real life is adhering to contracts/agreements. Say you could sign up to a power company, use power, and then not pay, the two main consequences of this would be that your power would likely get cut off and debt collectors could be sent after you. What’s to stop you from then just signing up with a new power company and repeating this exercise?

Businesses and lenders feed information on your payment (or lack thereof) habits back to credit reporting agencies. These agencies collate this information and use it to assign you a credit score which represents your creditworthiness. Your credit score can then be requested by new businesses or lenders you approach to determine if you are someone they are able to do business with or lend to.

In Banqer, we are therefore replicating this feedback loop for students in the hope that they realise some decisions they make reflect on them later down the track.

The credit reporting module can be enabled by classroom teachers by clicking on the banking module and then enabling “personal loans & credit scores”.

Credit scores populates a credit score for each Banqer student based on their Banqer transactions. Do something responsible, like saving, and it’ll go up. Do something reckless, like giving all your cash to your bestie, and it’ll go down.

As a way to see the benefits of maintaining a good credit score over time, enter Personal Loans. The new personal loans feature of Banqer allows students to apply for a personal loan. This compliments the other debt offerings such as of overdrafts and mortgages to get students familiar with the types of debt out there and differences between them. The loan limit and interest rates offered will be dependent on a student’s credit score. Any loan applied for will also need to be approved by the teacher.

As students in Banqer are able to transact between themselves, we may already have our first unintended use for credit score. Students we spoke to at the launch told us of times when they had lent money to friends only to not ever have it paid back. If only they’d have had a credit score to check first...

Insights from Tim Wilkinson (Banqer team member forever in search of the perfect credit score)