The New Chapter of SET’s Journey: SET Financial Literacy in Action

By: Dr. Soraphol Tulayasathien, Senior Executive Vice President, Head of Corporate Strategy Division and Head of Sustainable Market Development Division, The Stock Exchange of Thailand Oct 2022

Financial Literacy is one of the major foundations of economic and social well-being, especially in aging society countries such as Thailand. Saving for retirement and managing retirement money are extremely important.

For more than two decades, the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) has been committed to foster a sustainable investment culture in order to ensure that savings for retirement is adequate for Thai people. We believe that good financial behaviors are the direct results of strong financial capabilities which stem from good financial education. Households with good financial health will ultimately result in a strong overall economy for the country.

With our long-term mission being to strengthen Thai people’s financial capabilities, SET has been launching various projects including:

  • Customized Learning Activities and Materials on Financial Education: As our long-term journey has proven that there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution, SET always develops learning activities and materials to match each of our target groups, i.e. youths, first-jobbers, employees, potential and existing investors. For example, to inspire youths to begin saving and investing, SET has established an interactive self-discovery museum called INVESTORY where students can learn from hands-on activities, games, etc. Moreover, students nationwide have had a chance to experience INVESTORY’s mobile exhibition right at their schools.
  • Developed Diverse Electronic Media for Financial Education: Among social and economic difficulties during the COVID-19 pandemic, SET was prompt to provide good financial education via online channels. Our websites, e-Learning courseware and social media have provided Thai people with a various range of financial planning and investment knowledge for free. The number of online accessibilities in 2021 increased 30% from 2020. In addition, SET designed the online campaign called “21-Day Investment Challenge for Stock & Mutual Fund” in order to educate “New Gen investors” step-by-step through lifestyle approach.
  • Collaborated with Partners on Financial Education Activities: SET’s most impactful strategy was to create learning spaces on financial literacy with our strategic partners such as listed companies, government agencies, private enterprises, universities, etc. The collaboration models were designed to match their individual needs, i.e. online materials, training courses, train-the-trainer programs or linkage of SET e-Learning platform with partners’ platform. Since 2019, more than 260,000 students of the Thai Student Loan Fund have learned fundamental courses of financial planning and debt management which emphasized their roles and guided them how to manage their personal finance wisely. Also, SET, in collaboration with alliances in the capital market, organized the Young Financial Star Project to groom university students to become quality professionals for securities and listed companies, an important driving force for the Thai capital market towards sustainable growth.

To cope with the rapid growth of digital era, SET's “Financial Literacy in Action” strategy has been implemented through the provision of tools and models to encourage Thai people to have better financial behaviours. We would like to share some examples of projects that we are working on:

  • SET Fin Quizz: This national financial assessment was an online test which is a starting tool to self-analyse financial gaps among Thai people at any age. Initiated in 2021, the test assesses basic knowledge and skills of financial topics including income, expenditure, saving, credit, risk and investment. We used OECD/INFE Core Competencies Framework on Financial Literacy as a guideline and developed 18 questions that fit the local environment. As a financial education developer, we expect to get data on the financial knowledge and skills that Thai people require so that we can provide effective forms of financial education. Those taken the test will be provided relevant content to learn more for better understanding. The results collected from 18,380 participants from January to August 2022 revealed that the top three financial-knowledge gaps were in insurance, portfolio management and compound interest. This feedback is very useful for developing financial knowledge and tools to match those financial gaps effectively in the near future.
  • SET Happy Money Application: This practical and free-of-charge tool is developed to help establishing self-discipline on personal finance. Users of any age can easily use this app to record their incomes and expenses in everyday life. They can also add their financial statements and evaluate their financial health through many ratios. Moreover, there are financial calculators that help shaping their future goals like a pro such as time value of money, retirement plan, tax plan, housing loan, etc. Since 2019, the SET Happy Money application has been downloaded by more than 280,000 users. SET aims to develop more lifestyle and practical tools using gamification technique to stimulate Thai people to develop better financial behaviours.
  • Happy Money Trainers: This training and mentoring program, which has educated almost 10,000 trainers since 2016, is implemented within workplaces. SET provides a variety of knowledge packages and tools to help trainers disseminateaccurate and suitable advice for general financial problems. The trainers also help encourage others in the organizations to track and improve their financial behaviors. For potential trainers who want to continue their learning to become financial professionals, SET provides a scholarship to take training courses for any professional licenses in the Thai capital market. Through this program SET encourages all workplaces, especially the listed companies with commitment to achieving one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, Quality Education, to improve their employees’ financial competency.

SET has helped more than three million Thais in gaining access to financial literacy and diversification through a cutting-edge learning platform. This reflects our commitment to promote Thai people's financial well-being in order to improve the quality of life for all, which is consistent with our vision "To Make the Capital Market 'Work' for Everyone."