As director of Turin’s Museo del Risparmio, Giovanna Paladino has a clear goal: financial awareness for all. “We are not trying to turn everyone into Nobel Prize economists, just into conscious personal-money managers,” she says of this unique Intesa Sanpaolo-backed institution.
Now, working with the Italian bank and its international subsidiaries, Paladino is delighted to see the reach of this mission widened through an innovative project called the Art of Saving.
Launched to coincide with World Savings Day on October 31, it is helping people of all ages, across 10 countries, to understand and manage their finances better.
We know that savings underpin sound financial planning – good for both individuals and the economy – yet OECD statistics show that people are not putting enough away. Using interactive digital games and videos, as well as school visits and family workshops, all designed in conjunction with the Museo del Risparmio, the programme aims to help change that.
Edutainment – mixing entertainment with learning – is a means of sharing expertise, sparking interest and building confidence in financial planning in a fun way, says Paladino.
Putting fun into family finances
Giovanna Paladino, director of the Museo del Risparmio in Turin, Italy and Alexander Resch, chief executive of Intesa Sanpaolo’s Slovakian subsidiary VUB bank, tell Giulia Rhodes how their new digital edutainment platform is helping individuals shape their own finances.
“We are not trying to turn everyone into Nobel Prize economists, just into conscious personal-money managers”
“Technology makes it easier to use financial services and bank products. We hope that via this platform the dialogue will be mutual”
Opening “relaxed” conversations – within families, schools, communities – is vital at a time when the ‘around the family dinner-table’ budgeting of previous generations is falling away.
“Today’s culture is here and now, which makes us lose the long-term dimension at the core of saving decisions that are strategic by nature,” says Paladino. “In recent years most of us have lost the habit of keeping track of our expenses with respect to income flows.”
Slovakia is one of the countries selected for initial Art of Saving roll-out. Chief executive of Intesa Sanpaolo’s Slovakian subsidiary VUB, Alexander Resch is delighted to offer the programme to clients, schools and other groups, building trust and relationships with the bank.
“The population has historically had a strong culture of saving, but constrained household budgets and inflation have recently been barriers,” he says. He hopes that, given the current brighter outlook, this new platform will help clients navigate their growing financial opportunities.
Interactive education in family finance management and the basics of domestic and international economy will “expand general overview and help in real-life decisions when it comes to personal savings, borrowing money or investments”.
Using the latest digital and mobile technology makes sense, particularly in a country such as Slovakia, with high smartphone usage. “Technology makes it easier to use financial services and bank products. We hope that via this platform – open to all ages – the dialogue will be mutual.”
Benefits should also be two way, he points out. As well as giving customers greater power over their futures, the bank gains. “A financially literate client is the best kind of client, a responsible one.”
For Paladino, showing people just how much agency they have is the key. “The challenge,” she says, “is making people understand that saving is an act of freedom that facilitates the realisation of their own projects.”
Last updated 3 November 2021