Numedeon Inc., creator of the popular Whyville online world for tweens and teens, has announced the opening of a Bankinter virtual branch to help teach kids about the basics of finance.

The Spain-based Bankinter is recognized as a leader in introducing new technologies to the banking industry, both pioneering and leading the Spanish market in the use of telephone, internet and mobile-terminal banking. Its presence in Whyville is already proving a success, with over 100,000,000 clams, the currency of Whyville, deposited in the form of either certificates of deposit or interest-bearing savings accounts. The amount is equivalent to over 25% of Whyville’s entire currency circulation.

“Opening a virtual bank in Whyville is absolutely a natural for our bank whose fundamental approach to business is based on the education of our customers,” said Bankinter General Manager Fernando Alfaro Aguila-Real. “The financial services currently available in our branch in Whyville are just the first step in establishing a thoroughly modern and diverse set of financial services and instruments for Whyville’s citizens.”

Whyville was created to entertain and educate kids aged 8-15 in a wide variety of topics, and has created numerous programs in that regard by partnering with organizations and agencies such as Scholastic, Toyota, Penguin Books, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Texas Workforce Commission and others. According to Numedeon, “This banking project is explicitly designed to educate and engage kids in a range of important economic issues including lending practices and interest rates, finance, credit, the importance of savings and more.”

“We are thrilled to being this partnership with Bankinter,” said Dr. James Bower, Numedeon founder and CEO. “Our children have been asking for years for opportunities to earn interest on their hard-earned clams. The fact that they have elected on their own to deposit so many clams in Bankinter-Whyville indicates both their enthusiasm for the bank, as well as their existing sophistication in money management. We expect they will respond with similar enthusiasm to a range of new financial instruments we will soon make available.”

Founded in 1999, Whyville bills itself as “the only learning-based virtual world for today’s digital kids,” in which kids play, socialize, learn about a wide variety of topics, earn virtual currency and take part in numerous other activities. Currently, there are 2.8 million Whyville “citizens,” and Numedeon expects that number will grow beyond three million shortly.

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