One of the best ways to diminish economic inequalities is through financial literacy, and while this is a particularly powerful tool, it is one of the most difficult to implement. Creative solutions are needed to sow the seeds of financial development within young minds because it takes several years for these initiatives to bear fruit. That is why PomPak – Learn to Earn, a financial literacy mobile and computer game, is a giant leap in the right direction.
Let’s look at why this financial literacy game is such a great way to teach children as well as young adults about good financial management.
PomPak – Learn to Earn App Review
PomPak – Learn to Earn is a fun mobile game developed by State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) as part of its project titled, National Financial Literacy Program – Youth (NFLP-Y) with National Institute of Banking and Finance (NIBAF). The core intention of this mobile app is to upgrade the financial skills of an entire generation so they can create and manage their monetary assets prudently.
The scope of the game is equally loaded as users learn about saving money, frugal living choices, borrowing, ethical behavior, budgeting, and different financial tools offered by banks.
You might think this sound like the syllabus for a financial management course at university and you wouldn’t be wrong – but that’s a good thing because it proves the app fulfills its main purpose. What’s more impressive than the scope of learning objectives for PomPak – Learn to Earn, is the fun and easy-going gameplay of the app.
If that’s not enough motivation to play the game, you might be interested in receiving a fancy digital certificate with your name on it. This is jointly issued by NIBAF and NFLP-Y when you complete the game.
The game has been downloaded over 100,000 times so far which is a great achievement for a financial literacy app! Let’s dive into the game review now.
PomPak – The Story
PomPak – Learn to Earn takes us into the simple yet ambitious lives of two lower and middle-class families, one of whom lives in the city and the other in a nearby village in Pakistan. The children of the families get together to set up and run a pomegranate business, hence the name PomPak. The business starts when the cousins decide to save up some money to buy a pomegranate sapling that they nurture into a profitable orchard over the years.
Throughout their journey towards financial independence, the children make decisions about savings, taking out loans, investments, profit distribution, and trade-offs related to their choices.
Although the game provides an environment for intensive learning of financial management, the gameplay itself is pretty lighthearted, as we discuss next.
Customized gameplay and visual teaching methodology
Because PomPak – Learn to Earn has a detailed educational objective, a one-size-fits-all solution would be pretty ineffective. The app’s gameplay has, therefore, been divided into three categories based on age to customize the lesson plan, which gets progressively more complex in the older age groups:
● Children: Age 9-12
● Adolescent: 13-17
● Youth: 18-29.
The story is slightly different for each age group but the topics covered are the same so users don’t miss out on any key concepts.
For instance, the characters start their journey by saving up money to buy a young pomegranate sapling and that’s how the concept of savings plans is covered in the ‘Children’ age group. In the ‘Adolescent’ age group, the children are more concerned about budgeting for university, while in the ‘Youth’ age group, after the children have graduated university, they want to play a more active role in their household finances.
The game has dozens of challenges (training modules) in each age group and a total of 53, with each challenge covering different financial topics that are introduced with a short yet comprehensive video.
I found these videos to be pretty engaging because of the fun background music and cute animations to accompany the short tutorials. These videos are followed by a couple of interactive questions that test theoretical and practical understanding of the topics covered in the videos.
Yes, there is a lot of maths involved too. Users have to solve a number of equations to calculate accumulated savings and profit distribution, for example. All this gives the game a realistic touch.
Some of these questions can be tricky though, so there’s a handy ‘Help’ feature users can get hints from, but using it too much will mean they have to re-attempt the challenge.
What a great way to reinforce concepts!
On the lighter side, as the game progresses, the player earns gems and different community buildings are unlocked such as a school, plant nursery, bank, etc. Players can upgrade these items using their gems. What a delightful lesson in social studies!
An additional layer of motivation is that as the challenges are completed and the village becomes more developed, players get rewarded with new ranks, gradually moving from Amateur to Wizard. I must admit, these were fun to receive even as a grown-up.
Another cool feature to notice here is that the entire game can be played in both English as well as Urdu, making it one of the most inclusive games you will see.
Why you should play this game and get others to do the same
There are so many reasons this game should be downloaded and played by every child and young adult, regardless of where he or she lives in Pakistan. If I get into the details, this game review might never end, so I’ll keep the list as precise as possible.
This financial literacy game has two types of effects on the player, which I’ve divided into direct and indirect effects. We’ll now look at some direct benefits of playing this game. Users can:
● Develop a thorough understanding of various financial instruments and their benefits as well. Users can then use these concepts to improve their own financial lives.
● Appreciate the importance of saving and creating an emergency fund as a safety net. The app takes users through the various steps of creating savings goals and setting up savings plans to attain those goals. Apart from that, lots of practical saving tips are shared, such as the 50-20-30 budgeting rule or never to shop when you’re hungry 🙂
● Learn to spend money wisely. There are some useful tips about how to get the best value for money when you decide to make purchases.
● Understand basic economic concepts such as inflation, needs/wants, business risks, demand/supply, fixed/variable expenses, production possibility curve, etc. These sound like difficult concepts but they’re taught in a simple and lighthearted manner.
● The importance of having multiple income streams and investing money to grow it.
● Grasp the essence of ethical behavior and its role in ensuring long term business success. Users get an opportunity to apply these principles when deciding how to divide profits from the business and also understand the downsides of running a business that harms the environment.
● Understand the responsible use of credit, when obtaining loans might be a good idea and when to avoid them.
● Improve their maths and basic accounting skills. There are plenty of calculations, ratios, and equations that users learn and practically solve as well.
● Learn all the ways to identify a fake currency note – this one was a surprisingly fun module!
● Develop entrepreneurial skills that will help users understand how to maximize profits by selling value-added products, branding, cutting expenses, or adding new products.
● Understand why keeping money in the bank is better than keeping it at home.
Here are some indirect benefits of playing this financial literacy game. Users can:
● Appreciate the financial sacrifices made by parents to raise children,
● Develop a sense of community and social equality in terms of class as well as gender,
● Feel encouraged to pitch in the household budget,
● Be inspired to dream big. Users will see how small steps can lead to great results so that lofty goals or any other noble ambition is not out of reach.
● Develop a long term view of life and understand how our actions today will impact our future.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, frankly speaking. The training modules are more informative and in-depth than I could ever mention in a blog post. Be prepared to get a full-fledged crash course in financial literacy that doesn’t feel like a course at all, but a fun, easy-going, and memorable experience.
Signing-up and data privacy
As with all games that track your progress, you have to sign-up first. The sign-up form is as simple as can be to encourage as many people to try the app.
All these features were added with the good intention of accommodating children or adolescents who might not have their own email accounts.
As far as data privacy is concerned, there is really nothing to be concerned about because a trust-worthy government agency is behind the app.
Be sure to use your real name when signing up for the game because it will appear on the digital certificate when you complete all the challenges and make all the community upgrades in your age group.
The PomPak community and supporting activities
Whether you’re playing this game or have completed it and received your digital certificate, there’s a thriving online community waiting to hear from you!
You can upload a video of your thoughts and feelings about the game onto NFLP-Y’s YouTube channel or share your accomplishment of receiving the certificate on their Facebook page.
To further help with the implementation of the financial literacy objective, the course has been provided in the form of books for each of the age groups as well, in both English and Urdu. These financial literacy course books can be downloaded for FREE from NFLP-Y’s website.
NFLP-Y has also developed a skilled team of financial literacy trainers that go far and wide to teach children as well as university students about these financial tools, to further reinforce the learning outcomes.
A quick look at the feedback from these training sessions shows that attendants are highly motivated to set up their bank accounts the very next day and begin saving for their future.
What can you do to help?
Now that you have read all about the noble intentions behind this game, you might be interested in helping NFLP-Y achieve its objective of helping the youth improve their financial literacy levels. There are many ways you can do this:
Firstly, you can encourage your peers to try out the game.
Secondly, if you are associated with an educational institute, you can partner with NFLP-Y to organize training at the school/college/university.
Thirdly, you can become a trainer to help teach students everything they need to know to become better at managing their money and making better financial decisions.
Reviews of PomPak – Learn to Earn
Before we end this game review, let’s have a look at some actual customer reviews of the game.
The app has overwhelmingly positive reviews and that is not surprising. A few negative reviews focused on technical glitches where the app couldn’t load videos properly, but those are likely due to poor internet connections.
Some other negative reviews complained about the app crashing but I didn’t have any problems with that personally. Now that is something to appreciate because my phone refuses to let Canva and Facebook run without glitches every now and then.
In my experience, the game ran smoothly and without any glitches.
There are so many merits to playing this game, that it is safe to say there is absolutely no reason this game should not be played by children or anyone struggling to manage their finances.
“Make good choices for a brighter future.”
That’s my favorite line from PomPak and it sums up why we all should go ahead and play it.
Download PomPak – Learn to Earn
You may download this financial literacy game from three sources.
- Download link for PomPak – Learn to Earn for Android devices via Google Play.
- Download link for PomPak – Learn to Earn for iOS devices via App Store.
- Download link for PomPak – Learn to Earn to play on your desktop or laptop via NFLP-Y’s website.
WRITTEN BY: FEHMEEN KHAN
The writer is a financial blogger with over 10 years of experience. She enjoys writing technical and informative articles about money matters to improve financial awareness and wellness, especially at the grass root level. To connect with her, visit her LinkedIn page or check out her blog.
Blog URL: https://www.moneysonata.com
LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/fehmeen-k-0bb02a8