Message from the Chairman
Personal computers and the Internet have revolutionized the way many people bank, shop, communicate and do many other things, including how they can get an education. “E-learning” enables people to study a subject any time, anywhere, as fast or as slow as they want or need. Given the many benefits of e-learning, the FDIC is proud to offer the next generation of Money Smart, the FDIC’s award-winning financial education curriculum. Money Smart CBI -- short for Money Smart Computer-Based Instruction -- is interactive, interesting and easy to use, and available free of charge on CD-ROM and on the FDIC’s Web site. The new version contains all the information found in the Money Smart curriculum but with enhancements, including the chance for users to have a “virtual experience” filling out a check, using an ATM and conducting other banking business.
As you may recall, the FDIC introduced Money Smart in the summer of 2001 as a 700-page paper-based product available only in English and designed to be used in a classroom. Since then, we’ve translated Money Smart into Spanish, Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese, and we’ve made the original curriculum available on CD-ROM. We’re proud of how Money Smart has helped low-income Americans, new immigrants and other adults outside the financial mainstream enhance their money management skills. In fact, thanks largely to the partnerships the FDIC has established with government agencies, national non-profit groups, banks and other organizations around the country, more than 300,000 people have taken a Money Smart class and have opened at least 40,000 new bank accounts.
We’ve had great success in helping people step into a classroom and later step into a financial institution, so they can be in a position to open the next door – the door to financial independence -- by saving money, being smart about borrowing money, owning their own home and even starting their own business. Money Smart CBI is designed to make it even easier to reach that door to financial independence, without even having to leave home. And because not everyone has Internet access at home, the FDIC is making Money Smart CBI available on CD-ROM as well, so that anyone interested can learn on a stand-alone computer in a local library or school. The FDIC also is working with our existing partners and recruiting new partners to offer Money Smart CBI in their classes or otherwise help bring our program to people who may not have Internet access or a computer at home.