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Visa kicks off Financial Football game in bid to educate 20 million people

Visa brings personal finance education to football fans worldwide with free FIFA-themed video game

Johannesburg – May 19, 2010 – Visa announced today that it is launching a new FIFA World Cup™ branded educational video game as the centerpiece of a commitment to reach 20 million people worldwide with financial literacy information by May 1, 2013.

To reach this milestone, Visa unveiled an innovative new approach for helping children and adults learn about personal finance: Financial Football – a free video game that combines the world's most popular sport with a financial literacy curriculum developed especially for South Africa.

A FIFA Partner since 2007, Visa will roll out its Financial Football game in over 12 countries in the months leading up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup™. The game, which went live in Brazil on September 15, 2009, is now available in South Africa and can also be played online at Financial Football is the latest component of Visa's decade-long commitment to financial literacy which has helped millions of people worldwide learn how to manage their money wisely. This Financial Football game complements Visa's Financial Literacy roadshows that use industrial theatre to drive key messages around budgeting, saving, opening a bank account and how to use an ATM, in an entertaining and humorous way. Nationally, this show has reached over 120 000 people across South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa to date.

"We believe one of the most important tools to spur financial inclusion is not a product – it is knowledge," said Charles Niehaus, General Manager, Visa Sub-Saharan Africa. "Our aim is to link our partnership with FIFA and our global objectives for financial literacy to harness Visa's personal finance expertise and the popularity of the FIFA World Cup™ to help people worldwide learn how to manage their money successfully."

"Supporting education is part of FIFA's long-standing commitment to promoting social development through football," said FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke. "Visa's Financial Football channels the passion for football and helps make learning about money management entertaining. This learning tool will be a valuable resource for community-based organisations and their work with youngsters."

Visa hosted a Financial Football launch with local soccer legends Lucas Radebe and Andre Arendse at Sandringham High School in Johannesburg to give students a preview of the game and teach them the fundamentals of money management.

Financial Football
Financial Football challenges players to answer fast-paced, multiple-choice money management questions correctly to advance down the field for a chance to score a goal. Financial Football offers single player and head-to-head game play options and is being translated into a dozen different languages. This free game features three difficulty levels – and has companion lesson modules for classroom use. Players learn key concepts about saving, responsible spending, budgeting, and the wise use of credit.

"It would have been great to learn more about personal finance when I was in school," said Radebe. "Fortunately, Financial Football provides today's students with the opportunity and tools to learn about the financial world in ways that were never available to me when I was younger."

"Money management is a crucial life skill that is essential for success," said Arendse. "Financial Football is a great way to learn those skills."