Verity puts financial literacy at children’s fingertips

The founders of Verity, an app that helps youth with financial literacy, (left to right) Kamal Al-Samarrai, Dina Shoman, and Omar Al-Sharif. (Photo: Handout from Verity)
AMMAN — Many people are suffering from a lack of financial literacy, particularly among children and teenagers.

However, there is a solution that will be available soon as a mobile app – Verity.اضافة اعلان

A family banking and financial literacy mobile application, Verity is targeted at children and teenagers, aged between 8 and 18 in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

Founders Dina Shoman, Kamal Al-Samarrai, and Omar Al-Sharif, have developed Verity to help parents teach children about money.

Samarrai said that when they initially got together, there were various aspects in his own life that drove him to want this app to succeed.

“I made mistakes as a youngster with my finances, maybe too much credit card trouble.” Samarrai said. “I thought it would be a great idea if I helped my daughter avoid the same mistakes I did.”

Samarrai added that they looked to the lack of financial literacy in the MENA region to try to understand this problem.

“Fifty-three percent of UAE students do not know how to manage their money, and 43 percent of youths are not able to manage their money.”

Samarrai said that these things allowed the partners to build a problem statement that goes forward with their company.

The first issue was that youths have limited tools for day-to-day payments. Secondly, parents would like to teach their children how to save money, but they don’t know how, moreover most parents don’t know where teenagers spend their money.

Sharif said that the application will be launched later this year. “We are going to start in the UAE and then will launch the application in other countries in the MENA region soon.”

He explained that a parent or child's custodian has to create an account on the app, and through this account, the person can transfer money to the child’s account.

“The amount of the allowance can be set by the parent, and it can be transferred directly to the child’s digital wallet. After the child has received the allowance, Verity can start its services,” Sharif said.

Verity includes educational tools, as well as the ability for children and teenagers to save and spend money, the app can teach children about money by making them capable to manage their own money in a safe environment.

“The application dashboard is very informative and playful, it’s made specifically for children and teens.”

“Children can spend money through digital and physical prepaid debit cards, moreover there is a saving account that parents can use to motivate their children to save money. In addition, there is a feature, called chores which represent the earning part, where parents can put tasks for their children and these tasks can be connected to rewards, such as an amount of money if they did their chore properly.” Sharif said.

“Moreover, with Verity, children can set a saving goal to buy a particular item they want. Also, there is a donation goal where the child can donate as much as he/she wants.”

“Parents can teach their children how smartly they can spend and manage their money in a safe way,” Shoman said. “Parents will be notified every time their child spends money.”

She said that the Verity app is a safe mobile application, with controls linked to parents in a secure environment, while teaching their child how to manage money. She added that according to studies two-thirds of adults worldwide are financially illiterate.

“Through my research, I found that children can learn simple concepts at the age of 3 and 4.”

“We in Verity believe in experiential learning, which is the process of learning through experience, learning by doing and by reflecting on the experience, and then applying it in real life.”

“Moreover, through experience children gain a deeper understanding of the concept when allowed to act on it.”

According to Shoman, with Verity children will learn good money habits and skills, such as savings, conscious spending, earning, and giving.

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