Thanks to Bilal Zia for sharing his global perspectives on financial literacy and financial capability that he has gleaned from his field studies in countries such as Indonesia, India, Brazil and South Africa. Bilal is not afraid to tackle the difficult questions facing the field including how to translate financial knowledge into behavioral change and whether financial education works.  He shares some surprising insights gleaned from his study of Brazilian high school students, as well as an innovative approach to infuse financial concepts into popular TV programming in South Africa. Not only will you enjoy our conversation but you will also get a few ideas that you can use in your classroom or home.


  • 0:00~1:02 – Introduction
  • 1:02~3:05 – Bilal describes his job
  • 3:05~7:59 – Why the World Bank cares about financial literacy
  • 7:59~10:27 – Why Bilal is interested in financial literacy
  • 10:27~19:36 – How his research in India pointed to several successful strategies to turn knowledge into action
  • 19:36~24:05 – How a field study in Brazilian high school yielded surprising results beyond the classroom
  • 24:05~24:28 – A word from our sponsor
  • 24:28~28:42  – Ways to craft assignments to encourage students and parents to talk money
  • 28:42~38:43 – How South Africa is using a popular TV show to teach financial lessons
  • 38:43~48:32 – Critical elements of a successful financial education curriculum
  • 48:32~52:07 – Cultural impacts on financial decision-making
  • 52:07~53:33 – Conclusion
Selected Bilal Zia Research Studies:
Notable Quotes:
  • “It’s much easier to influence the decisions of students than it is for adults and students are prime to learn personal finance”
  • “Not only do the students improve their financial literacy, they act as agents of change in their households”