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March 03, 2014

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Jeff

the eLearning protocol SCORM is going through a massive make-over, specifically from SCORM v1.2/2004 "Tin-Can API". The overhaul is so significant that it will likely reshape the way we record, track, and administer eLearning for years to come. All the pieces are in place for this new standard to flourish. -- applying this standard to financial education and personal goal setting will make the world a better place.

Jeff

I agree ..there are not enough finance management apps suitable for the emerging markets.

If https://www.readyforzero.com/, https://levelmoney.com/, https://www.billguard.com/ or http://www.nerdwallet.com/ want to expand to the emerging markets, they should cordinate with us at Lenddo.

Traian

How about applications like https://www.readyforzero.com/, https://levelmoney.com/ or https://www.billguard.com/ being available on emerging countries?

Jeff

B.A. - I agree our audience is very different. I also agree that testing and experimenting is key. One of the reasons I am so excited about these technologies is they allow for aggressive A/B testing. If we can get enough organizations measuring using the infrastructure inherent to these technologies we should let Darwinism do the rest. (Darwinism - letting the ineffective messaging die off)

Thanks for your feedback, Jeff

Tabitha C.

Thanks for sending this along - to be sure, it's a remarkable post, in that its perspective is just so different from what one generally sees in this space.

First off, two caveats - 1) this is written from a strong technology / programming / platform capabilities point of view, and somewhere between SCORM and TinCan, I realized I was out of my depth. I cannot, therefore, comment on any of the technical issues it raises; and 2) we aren't experts on financial education curricula, though we've seen a fair bit of it, as much as we are on delivery models, costs and scale issues, impact etc.

However, I do have the following thoughts:

1. This is a good response to what Jeff characterizes as 'Academic and Non-Profit' crowd usually does, in that it does away with the idea of classroom and lecture-based curricula, etc. to replace it with interactive, 'core elements'. So maybe it even gets away from the 'one size fits all' model, though it wasn't clear to me how a typical digital native was going to select what he/she receives.

However, it would be good to incorporate two important considerations into the design / curriculum:
- not to fall into the typical 'supply-side' issue with financial education and learning, which is designed and pushed out without asking the customer what and how they want their learning and support (or if they want to pay for it). In all the conversations Jeff has had with experts and financially healthy people, nowhere is a customer mentioned - and though he probably has a deep customer understanding from his business, i would still encourage user-design and testing. More so, if this is designed to be modular and re-purposable / adaptable to different contexts, etc etc.
- the current field thinking is that the transition from information to behavior change is improved with resort to simple heuristics - rules of thumb and behavioral nudges - rather than elements or fundamental principles. Maybe this is where the elements will come out anyways, in their application / gamification, but i would encourage looking at text / interactive nudges, reminders, questions, updates, etc. as opposed to fundamentals, even if they are twitter-sized

2. Related to this, it's advisable to think through the delivery economics of this, particularly because if this isn't a 'benefit' pushed out to folks that is paid for by someone else, there should ideally be a business case for it. Does Jeff see one? Will his customers' financial health increases pay for his education model via increased relationship sizes? It wasn't clear from the article

3. To twin research with action so the field can learn from the results of this experiment. Maybe the field can then replicate this to the non-smartphone audience in the near future, if it does work!

O.N.

Expertly done. To these points I would say (a) amen brother, esp. the watch out point about being supply driven (but just in a cleverer way than the people who like to put butts in seats), and (b) most of the evidence suggests that "JIT" training nuggets delivered at a moment of interaction with the financial system (e.g., cashing that remittance, making a mobile money transfer, making a loan repayment, etc) can be very powerful -- along the lines of the nudges that is referred to below. So we should strongly encourage the kind of experimentation he's talking about (which I think is needed and welcome) -- but pair it with specific financial "occasions" where people will have financial behavior and health top of mind in the first place...

B.A.

I think it would be awesome if we were able to impact financial inclusion more effectively with technology. Using technology better is one of our key initiatives at my organization.

That said, one of the things we've found is that a trusted human relationship is essential to getting engagement from the under-banked. Our customers have generally been very burned by financial providers and are profoundly skeptical. I suspect that trying to embed financial learning for them purely in virtual (non-human) interfaces will be slow going. I think the biggest problems actually aren't standardizing delivery of the "right" content but testing lots of different models for changing behavior. I think we haven't yet uncovered the right path yet, so I'd rather see more groups building and testing their own models rather than standardizing on one model.

Of course, we're working with US people, and there may be lots of reasons why it might work differently internationally. And of course, some of these lessons are very basic and common. But of course, those are the ones where the benefits of standardization are smallest, because the problem isn't knowing what the right action is, it's finding a way to do it. Just like quitting smoking or eating right, it's easier to talk about saving than to actually do it when you're trying to raise a family on too little money.

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