Pocket money goes digital with pre-paid card for eight-year olds

Pocket money goes digital with pre-paid card for eight-year olds

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.

Comments: (3)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 16 November, 2012, 07:36Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

So ...

Apart from the £5 joining fee and the £1 per month per child membership fee, what's the difference between this and SplashPlastic, apart from 10 years?

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 14 June, 2013, 16:16Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Hi, Dean from PktMny here. I know we’re a bit late in responding but we just wanted to give you a bit more information about what makes us different from other similar products in the marketplace, either past or present.

 We are a regulated online money management account for parents with children under 18. Our aim is to provide parents and their children with a simple way to manage money together and to empower under 18's to learn to manage their finances responsibly.  With one online parent account users can automatically feed separate accounts for their children, each with their own account, personal pin number and PktMny Visa Pre-paid Card, which works anywhere that Visa is accepted.  Note that this is a pre-paid card, not a credit or debit card, so no debt is possible and the children can only spend the money on the card, no more. Parents can set limits on the card for each child: how much they can spend in one go, how much per week and where they can use the card (online, high street, or at ATMs). The card can be blocked or topped up at any time by the parent. These controls are unique to PktMny and are not provided by any UK bank or other solution as far as we know.

 The system also aims to make it easy for parents to manage how money is given to their children, whether that is regular automatic pocket money transfers, assign weekly or one-off tasks for their children to earn money and make one-off ‘top-up’ payments.

 The child accounts are linked to the parents’ accounts and each comes with its own online tools to manage the account, set savings goals, create wish lists, and track their savings and spending in real time. Please feel free to visit http://www.pktmny.com and give us your feedback on our product – we would welcome your thoughts. Thanks. Dean.


A Finextra member
A Finextra member 08 July, 2013, 10:39Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

So, it's a cross between Splash Plastic and eCharge, one from the UK, one from the US, both from the late 1990s.  I think it's a good idea, but I don't think I would want to be paying £1 per month for the privilage.