A British start-up is encouraging parents to ditch cash and take pocket money into the digital age, offering pre-paid cards to children as young as eight which can be used online, in-store and at ATMs.
Once parents open a PKTMNY account online for their child, they arrange to pay a regular weekly or monthly amount into it from their bank account or credit or debit card. Mums and dads can also set ways for kids to earn their money - for instance, by completing various household jobs, doing homework or reaching targets at school.
Parents are given the power to control the spending on the child's pre-paid, contactless Visa card - setting daily and weekly limits and where the card can be used: online, in-store or at ATMs. Meanwhile, the card will be rejected at places such as pubs and adult Web sites.
PKTMNY says that its service is designed to help children learn about managing money, with users able to take responsibility for their account. Kids can check their balance online or through a mobile app and create savings goals and set up wish lists. Relatives and friends can also check lists and contribute funds for things like birthdays.
The service - which is launching after a trial involving members of parent blogging network BritMums - costs £5 a family to join and £1 a month per child.
Mark Timbrell, founder, says: "We want PKTMNY to transform how children manage money, saving and spending, and through using it, learn the value of money and develop the financial skills they'll need for their future."
However, the prospect of handing cards to children as young as eight has caused some uneasiness, particularly among Guardian commentators who have bemoaned, among other things, the potential for data mining; a loss of the understanding of money as a physical thing; and the commercialisation of childhood.