Financial literacy deficiency is a prevailing problem in United States raising the need for effective financial education. Financial-institution leaders can play a crucial role in promoting financial literacy with their practical experience and expertise. This article sheds new light on the application of online technology to promote financial literacy by exploring the perceptions of financial-institution leaders. Supported by Dewey’s pragmatic constructivist paradigm and the PEST conceptual framework, a qualitative inquiry research through in-depth telephone interviews with 20 leaders from banks and credit unions in Texas was conducted. The findings revealed some common ways to provide online financial literacy education, including website information posting, online financial calculators, external links, social media communication, and partnering with appropriate third parties. The financial leaders perceived that applying online technology would be an enlightening future direction especially for the millennial generation but face-to-face education would remain important. The opportunities included social responsibility fulfillment, corporate image strengthening, marketing, and favorable regulatory consideration. The challenges involved the human and financial resources constraints, IT support, lack of effective evaluation, and how to motivate online learning. Some leaders suggested the use of games, financial incentives, and innovative apps. The policy implications included increase in government support, partnership with schools, embracing financial literacy in the state test, and collaboration among financial leaders, regulators, educators, and policy makers to foster financial literacy for the benefits of the society.


Financial Education, Financial Leadership, Financial Literacy, Online Technology, Qualitative Research

Author Bio(s)

Dr. Hazel Lee earned her doctoral degree in education from the University of Phoenix. She got an MBA from the Queen’s University in Canada and a master’s degree in economics from the University of Hong Kong. She also attained the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) qualification. She has gained a wealth of working experience from both the banking and educational fields. She worked as an economist in the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, as the director in global financial institutions for Bank of Montreal in Toronto, as the vice president in asset portfolio management for the BMO Financial Group in New York, and as the director in strategic research and analysis for Profitstar Inc., a company of Jack Henry & Associates, in Omaha. Her teaching experience included tutoring in the University of Hong Kong, as well as teaching economics, finance, money and banking courses as adjunct professor at the Strayer University. She had also taught part-time adult distance learning classes and evening courses for the banking professionals in Hong Kong. She was an author in the development team for the Social Sciences Foundation Course for the Open University of Hong Kong. She strongly believes that learning never ends. Her wish is that one day when her life chapter closes; she can feel humbly that she has fulfilled her purpose on earth. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: hwhlee1@email.phoenix.edu.


The author would like to thank Dr. Shannon Hilliker, Dr. Yongmin Zhu, Dr. Elizabeth Johnston at University of Phoenix, and Professor Ada Mui at Columbia University for their helpful comments, as well as the financial-institution leaders for their valuable participation in the study.

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