Flutey had long had an itch for a career in technology, and this felt like the right moment to scratch it. But despite leaving accounting after just six months to learn the ropes of software development at the Enspiral Dev Academy, she still wasn’t sure of where she wanted her career to take her.
“I was more thinking about what was going to fulfil me and where my interests lay…the good stuff, the stuff you really should think about. And that drew me to software, but I had aspirations that maybe software wouldn’t be the end of my path, either.”
And it wasn’t.
Teaching kids about money
Flutey’s younger brother was in his last year of primary school and, thanks to the efforts of a conscientious teacher, was learning the rudiments of money management. The tools and concepts he was being taught were simple, but Flutey says she saw a palpable change in her brother’s understanding. Highly qualified and capable in exactly the right skill-sets, she knew that this was her opportunity to make a real, enduring difference.
The result was Banqer, a hands-on digital platform that helps kids and teens to learn about the world of money by giving them a close-to-real-world experience of the systems and tools required to navigate it. From balancing a personal budget to managing savings, lending and investments, Banqer gives rangatahi the opportunity to become familiar with complex and crucial financial concepts in a safe, educational setting, before they need to apply that knowledge in the real world.
When Flutey began to build Banqer, she wasn’t thinking about growth, or penetration, or about building out a long-term business strategy. She’d simply realised that our rangatahi needed help with money – particularly those who were coming from less privileged backgrounds. She recognised she could help our educators to bridge that knowledge gap.
This is lifting the next generation
For Kiwibank, any opportunity to make Kiwi better off is one worth exploring. And even in its earliest start-up days we saw huge potential in Banqer’s uniquely powerful product and its conscientious, ambitious mission. Since 2016, our collaboration has enabled more than 215,000 school students to use Banqer to learn about managing their money – and to take those lessons into the real world. For Flutey, the partnership with Kiwibank has been invaluable.
“Banqer’s mission is really important to Kiwibank too. They’re looking long term as well, and they really value financial education and financial literacy, because they understand the impact that it's going to have on them as a bank in 10 or 20 years as well.”
Staying grounded, keeping purpose
Flutey’s story so far is one of creativity and tenacity. Her outstanding achievements justifiably saw her named Young New Zealander of the Year in 2019. But despite her success, she’s careful to acknowledge the fear that occasionally set in during Banqer’s early stages – fear of failure, or moving in the wrong direction. She admits she found those doubts challenging at times, however, she says the Banqer journey has taught her a valuable lesson about risk.