CommBank goes VR with kids banking

commbank-teleporterIn what has to be a leading indicator that VR is going mainstream, the Commonwealth Bank has released a virtual reality app to educate children on financial literacy.

In days gone past the Commonwealth Bank used to give kids a money box. In fact they still do today; the design has shifted over the years but the basic concept of getting into the kids’ young and impressionable heads has not. It’s clever marketing and by all reports has done very well for the bank.

The new approach, though, is much more up to date. There is a book: Sammy the Space Koala accompanied by a Goggle cardboard-like virtual reality kit. The book’s story follows a koala who travels through the galaxy in search of a magical present for her Grandma’s birthday. Throughout the journey, kids are invited to participate in VR chapters, learning lessons about ‘needs’ and ‘wants’.

Stuart Tucker, who’s in charge of marketing, explains that this ia first step in using technology to improve financial literacy.

This platform harnesses virtual reality and education to build on the work we already do to prepare Australian children for their future. For us, it’s the first step in exploring the possibilities technology has to offer in improving financial literacy.

Of course it’s impossible to miss the impact of the cool-factor of VR on the bank’s brand, but this does seem like a win-win situation if it succeeds in improving financial literacy.

It’s also an interesting sign that the bank’s marketers think there will be wide enough acceptance of this to make it a worthwhile expenditure. There are so many opportunities emerging in VR, perhaps especially in education. So it’s good to see a big organisation exploring the possibilities and giving further mainstream credibility to VR as a medium.

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