Israel’s central bank will start a digital education program for senior citizens this year and expand its program to increase financial awareness for ninth graders, the Bank of Israel said on Monday.
The financial awareness program for ninth graders was set up, together with the Education Ministry, in 2017, imparting practical tools to help with daily banking activities and thus boosting their independence and financial well-being, the central bank said.
During 2017, the program was held in 50 cities and localities for some 20,000 students nationwide. All the content, which included fundamental financial concepts, budget management, the importance of savings, and introduction to payment tools, was translated into Arabic as well, the Bank of Israel said.
The positive feedback received from school administrations and students about the program showed that there is strong demand for financial education, and that the grasp of practical tools the students received was very effective, Tal Harel Matityahu, the chief of staff of the Supervisor of Banks department at the central bank told the Knesset’s Education, Culture and Sports Committee.
During the course of 2018, the Banking Supervision Department will also work to promote digital education for senior citizens, with the goal of reducing the digital gap and assisting them in adjusting to digital banking, he said. This will, among other things, provide tools and courses for the use of digital services offered by the banking system. Acquiring digital skills will help senior citizens benefit from banking service that is more accessible and less expensive, he said.
The aim of the programs in general is to increase financial awareness among various population groups — by reducing information gaps, improving economic welfare, and enhancing awareness of rights, the central bank said.
The central bank said that according to its data, some 70,000 youth aged 14–18 open a bank account in Israel each year.