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News Now

Washington
Tech can help fin. lit. efforts, panelist says
WASHINGTON (5/1/14)--"Technology holds the promise of expanding access to personal finance education by providing flexibility in how, where and when learning occurs," but will never serve as a replacement for the power of in-person motivating instruction between students and financial experts, WorldofMoney.org CEO Sabrina Lamb said in prepared testimony Wednesday.

Lamb was one of five witnesses at a House Financial Services subcommittee on financial institutions and consumer credit hearing titled "Examining How Technology Can Promote Consumer Financial Literacy."

WorldofMoney.org is a nonprofit firm that provides financial education sessions taught by industry experts to youth ages 7 to 18.

Lamb noted that technology, and social media in particular, can be a powerful tool that "can create a financial education cultural revolution." However, it "should be used as an instructional supplemental activity that is supported by compassionate financial coaching" or other means of education, she added.

U.S. Government Accountability Office Director of Financial Markets and Community Investment Alicia Puente Cackley also testified during the hearing. Puente Cackley in part presented a GAO report that examined the financial literacy efforts of several federal agencies, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The GAO report noted that federal agencies have shown improvement in four areas: Coordination, partnerships, delineating their roles, and evaluation tools. However, that report said, significant work remains to be done in one major area--determining the most effective and efficient allocation of federal resources.

BancVue CEO Gabriel Krajicek, Visa Senior Vice President and Global Head of Financial Inclusion Stephen Kehoe and Intuit Consumer Ecosystem Group Senior Vice President Barry Saik also testified on Wednesday.

The Credit Union National Association and National Credit Union Foundation submitted a letter for the hearing record.  It noted the positive work of credit unions and highlighted that credit unions invest millions of dollars in consumer financial education and counseling programs, helping provide financial counseling to more than 1.6 million consumers a year. (See April 30 News Now ).

For more on Wednesday's hearing, use the resource link to access written testimony.
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