fintech stories

Gen Zers and Financial Literacy: Zogo teaches you how to manage your money

zogo gen z financial education

Zogo is an avant-garde solution for one of the most pervasive problems assailing people nowadays — a lack of financial education. Today we’re going to talk about Zogo and how a group of Gen Zers from Durham, North Carolina, pulled their resources and managed to create a fun, dynamic, and easy-to-understand startup that makes understanding financial concepts incredibly easy. 

What is Zogo?

Zogo is a financial education platform/startup that’s based in the outskirts of Durham, North Carolina. Its primary mission is to help individuals by giving them a good foundation when it comes to their financial education and their money management skills

What is Financial Literacy?

Did you know that more than 70% of Americans don’t understand the difference between an asset or a liability? Did you also know that most Americans have a huge debt, by the time they reach 35, of over 56 thousand dollars? That they are paying massive interest rates? 

Worldwide, only one-third of adults understand basic financial concepts. In The United States, 4 out of 7 Americans are financially illiterate. That means, they have little to no understanding of how to manage their personal economy, nor do they grasp the basics when it comes to finances. Only a few states require high-school students to take personal financing courses. What’s even more troubling is that, according to a JPMorgan Chase study, two of every three families lack any sort of emergency fund — a tremendous amount, 78%, live paycheck to paycheck, and would struggle to survive after six weeks of unemployment. 

Three out of five, according to a US survey, don’t even keep a budget. And four out of five youth, according to a FINRA study, couldn’t answer the majority of financial literacy questions in an incredibly easy quiz.

Zogo’s Goal

Zogo aims to bridge this gap by teaching, through its personal finance literacy app, the ins, and outs of money management. Of making your funds stretch and of investing them. Through its app, the company has gamified the process by giving its consumers a bite-sized chunk of information with embedded incentives. The company, in league with nationwide financial institutions, engages members and enriches their financial understanding.

As of 2021, Zogo has over 100,000 users who have undergone the equivalent of more than eight years' worth of time learning the principles needed to be financially independent. The company was founded by a group of Duke University undergraduates students who became aware of the issues and challenges a lack of financial literacy brought about. Students that were, by the time they reached 21, having anxiety problems concerning their credit card bills, their out-of-pocket expenses, and their student loan payments. The group came to the conclusion that Americans - in general - needed a platform that could educate them on their finances — in a fun, engaging, easy to understand way. 

Zogo has, since its inception, won various glamorous industry awards and accolades. Amongst them, “Best of Show '' at the Finovate Fall 2019 and the NACUSO 2019 Next Big Idea Competition. 

Presently, Zogo has a diversified portfolio of individuals and talents that’s helping take the app and its lessons to the next level. 

Founding of Zogo

Zogo has multiple key investors including advisors from Techstars, faculty members of Duke University, and a former CEO of Sageworks. All of them have helped the company raise a total of over $300 thousand. The company’s main investors, as of 2021, are MassChallenge and MetLife Digital Accelerator platform. 

Benefits and Features of Zogo

Right now there are dozens of apps in the digital ether trying to corner the market when it comes to educational content. The big difference between them and Zogo is that the former pays you to learn about financial matters. It gives you rewards and helps you use the knowledge you gain to make sound and smarter money management decisions. 

  • Over 300 modules and topics: Across a varied curriculum and perfectly aligned syllabus, users will get the opportunity to not only learn a wide range of topics but put their newfound education to use. The app features a diverse range of topics, including - but not limited to - insurance, taxes, savings, debt repayment, home buying, finances, retirement, diversification, and credit cards. 
  • Real-world examples and case studies: The modules connect to people by giving them real-world examples. Case studies that they can relate to. The difference between good debt and bad debt. How to restructure your loans. The cost of visiting a hospital with no health insurance and with health insurance. The deductible amount in the case of a traffic accident. The different mortgages and interest costs of them when it comes to buying a property. 
  • Pineapple: Zogo rewards its users and students with tokens known as Pineapples. Users can later swap/trade them for real-world benefits.
  • Credit card unions and banks: Zogo has partnered with multiple banks in over 50 states. Users can download their co-branded app and experience customized learning modules that teach them based on their bank's products and services. This is a great feature since it gives you hands-on experience you can employ daily with your transactions. 
  • Cashing in your Pineapples: If you use your financial institution’s Zogo extension you can cash out your pineapple for custom rewards, including cash deposits to your bank account.