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Best Pocket Money App

The financial technology boom of the last few years has given Uk consumers a wide range of products, and these include several useful money apps for kids. The best pocket money apps out there can assist in many ways, from helping children to manage their own money and more. We look at these money management apps in this article.

What Is A Prepaid Debit Card?

Prepaid debit cards have a long history, originally developed as an alternative for individuals who either had difficulty obtaining a traditional bank account or for employers who needed to distribute tightly controlled expense cards to employees.

In recent years, prepaid debit cards have evolved, becoming a popular tool for parents wanting to teach their children about money management while granting them a degree of financial independence. These cards frequently include additional features such as apps and financial education tools, which help parents introduce their children to financial concepts and develop essential money management skills.

Unlike traditional children’s bank accounts, these prepaid accounts are not directly linked to a bank account and must be topped up by the parent or guardian.

At What Age Should I Give My Child A Cash Card?

Ultimately, it’s up to the parent or guardian to decide when their child is ready for their own debit card. Most traditional banks set the minimum age at 11 for opening a current account that comes with a debit card.

However, alternatives like Hyperjar and Gohenry offer prepaid debit cards for children as young as six. These cards operate similarly to standard debit cards, allowing for cash withdrawals and purchases both in-store and online. What sets them apart are the enhanced parental controls they provide. Parents can load the card with funds, set spending limits, and restrict the types of purchases allowed. Additionally, they can monitor all the transactions made on the child’s account.

These controlled debit cards are an ideal stepping stone for younger children, equipping them with the necessary experience to manage a full bank account in the future.

Best Pocket Money App – Providers Overview

What Is HyperJar?

Launched in 2020, HyperJar now serves over 500,000 users with its app. Its primary goal is to offer an alternative to payment methods that typically lead to debt, like Klarna’s Buy Now Pay Later service or traditional credit cards. HyperJar promotes a ‘pay now, buy later’ approach, encouraging users to save money beforehand for purchases with specific retailers, instead of accruing debt.

After setting up an account, users can transfer funds from their bank and organize them into different ‘jars’ within the app, designated for specific spending needs like savings or groceries.

HyperJar also caters to younger users with a version of the app designed for kids. This feature allows adults to establish accounts for their children, providing them with their own cards and the ability to manage funds under adult guidance.

What Is A HyperJar Card?

Hyperjar logo

The HyperJar card is the core of the HyperJar product. Every account holder receives a Mastercard debit card that can be used for payments. Please note that cash withdrawals are not available with the HyperJar debit card.

HyperJar Features

HyperJar Jars

After establishing your HyperJar account and transferring funds from your bank, you can start creating jars. These jars are central to the app’s functionality, designed for various purposes like savings, groceries, or other personal expenses. Each jar can be customized with its own set of rules and restrictions. For making purchases, the app allows you to effortlessly switch between jars with just a few taps.

HyperJar Annual Growth Rate

HyperJar doesn’t offer traditional interest; instead, it features a unique Annual Growth Rate (AGR). This allows users to allocate a jar for spending with a specific retail partner. For example, if you regularly shop at a particular supermarket, you can dedicate a jar to that merchant. The funds in this jar will then earn an AGR, currently averaging 4.8%, although this rate varies by retailer. This blend of interest and rewards is particularly attractive to consumers who frequent certain retailers.

HyperJar Vouchers

HyperJar also offers vouchers, which users can gift to others within the platform. These are specific to retailers and can increase in value over time thanks to the AGR, adding an extra benefit to gift-giving.

HyperJar Travel

The HyperJar Mastercard debit card is especially useful when traveling abroad, as it does not incur currency exchange fees. It operates at the current Mastercard exchange rate and directly converts charges to pounds without additional fees. However, it’s important to note that the HyperJar card cannot be used to withdraw cash at ATMs, either domestically or internationally. Given this limitation, it’s wise to have an alternative means of accessing cash in countries where it is still predominantly used

HyperJar Kids App

The HyperJar kids app allows adults to manage a child’s finances by linking a child’s account to their own. Specific jars can be assigned for the child to manage, from which they can spend using their own Mastercard debit card. This setup gives adults complete oversight of the child’s spending activities.

HyperJar Costs & Fees

HyperJar does not charge any monthly fees or transaction costs. Their objective is to provide all card and app features free of charge. The only potential fee is for a replacement card, which is priced at £5.

Signup with HyperJar

What is Starling Kite?

Starling Kite functions as an additional feature within a primary Starling Bank account, rather than a standalone account. This arrangement allows parents to monitor all transactions made through the Kite account seamlessly. Starling Bank includes a feature known as Spaces, which lets account holders divide their funds into separate categories within their main account. The Starling Kite account operates as one of these specific compartments. A holder of a Starling Bank account can establish up to six such Kite compartments within their main account.

Starling Kite Features

  • User-friendly smartphone application – dedicated app for the children’s account
  • Mastercard Debit Card – with complete contactless functionality
  • Immediate Notifications – receive instant updates for any account activity (both the primary account holder and child)
  • Spaces – ‘virtual money jars’ within the Starling Bank account, up to 6 on Starling Kite
  • Parental visibility – the primary account holder can view all account activity
  • Automatic blocking of inappropriate payments – including alcohol, tobacco, gambling, and more
  • Parental Controls – the primary account holder can set spending limits and restrict types of transactions
  • Free ATM Cash Withdrawals – free withdrawals from ATMs in the UK and overseas
  • Savings Targets – easily set up within the app
  • Transfer funds from the primary Starling account – into the Kite account, free and instantly
  • Multiple Kite accounts – up to 6 per primary Starling Bank account

Starling Kite Costs And Fees

Towards the end of 2023, Starling Bank decided to revise the pricing structure of a Starling Kite account. Instead of the previous monthly charge of £2, it is now available at no cost! Furthermore, there are no charges for payments, ATM withdrawals, and card transactions, both within the UK and internationally.

Signup with Starling Bank

What is Gohenry?

GoHenry provides a dual-version mobile app and debit card system: one version for children, which allows them to monitor their spending and card use, and another for parents or guardians to oversee all card and account activities.

This system serves as a modern alternative to traditional cash allowances, enabling parents to conveniently track their child’s spending. Additionally, it gives children the opportunity to handle their own finances and budgets, which is instrumental in teaching them valuable financial literacy skills.

GoHenry also offers a way for parents to digitize pocket money while helping their children learn about finance through its app and debit card. The app includes a separate interface for parents to check their child’s financial activities and impose necessary controls.

Furthermore, GoHenry introduces a Junior ISA investment option that requires a minimum of just £1 to start. This investment opportunity is included in the app’s standard monthly fee, with no extra costs.

gohenry logo

Gohenry Features

  • 30-day trial available to test the app
  • Special app for parents – granting full visibility of the child app
  • Dedicated app for kids – offering a fun and easily accessible format
  • Visa debit card – featuring contactless capabilities
  • Instant spending notifications – on both apps
  • GoHenry Junior ISA – saving for their future
  • Utilize Apple Pay with the card – once the child turns 13 years old

Gohenry Costs And Fees

GoHenry provides two levels of account service. The “Everyday” tier is priced at £3.99 per month, while the “Plus” tier costs £4.99 per month. Both options include a debit card for the child, a specialized app for them, and a corresponding app for the parent to monitor and manage the account.

The “Plus” tier offers additional benefits, such as an interest rate of 4.5% on savings (as of November 2023) and 1% cashback on purchases. This tier also features an expanded range of educational tools available through the app.

For adding funds to the card, the first transaction each month is free. Any subsequent deposits are charged at £0.50 per transaction. Further fee information includes:

  • No fees for ATM withdrawals or card payments, whether in the UK or abroad
  • Outbound transfers are free of charge
  • Replacing a lost or stolen card is free
  • Customizing the card costs an additional £4.99.

Signup with GoHenry

What is Rooster Money?

Natwest Rooster Money is a dynamic app designed for children ranging from 3 to 17 years old. The younger group, ages 3 to 6, can engage with interactive educational tools that introduce basic financial concepts and management skills.

For children older than 6, Rooster Money offers a debit card that allows them to manage real money and make independent spending decisions, all under the watchful eyes of parents thanks to robust parental controls.

Parents or guardians can set up a Rooster Money account with ease by downloading the app. Upon setup, they can add their children and specify details such as names, allowance amounts, and the frequency of allowance distribution (daily, weekly, or monthly). Choosing the paid Rooster Card option enables parents to order debit cards for their children and fund the accounts either through a debit card or a bank transfer.

300?250Rooster Money Features

The Rooster Money App is central to Rooster Money’s offerings, available through the Apple App Store, the Android App Store, or directly from their website.

Rooster Money offers two main service levels – the Virtual Tracker, which is free, and the Rooster Card, which comes with a monthly or annual subscription fee. The Virtual Tracker provides all the features that are available with the Rooster Card.

The Virtual Tracker is a complimentary tool that includes educational features designed to help manage and track virtual pocket money. While it allows you to monitor your child’s pocket money within the app, the actual funds need to be handed over to your child separately. The features of the Virtual Tracker include:

  • Star & Reward Chart
  • Educational resources
  • Pots for Spending, Saving, Giving, and Goals
  • Up to 2 parent/guardian logins

The Rooster Card, on the other hand, allows parents to give their 6+ aged children their own prepaid Visa debit card. It encompasses all the features available in the Virtual Money Tracker tier, along with:

  • Prepaid Visa debit card
  • Access to the Chore Management System
  • Unlimited guardians
  • Account number and sort code

The Chore Management System enables you to assign tasks that correspond to pocket money. For instance, your child may only receive their pocket money once specific chores are completed. You can also add additional tasks for extra earnings.

Rooster Money Costs And Fees

  • Setting up and using the Virtual Tracker is completely free.
  • For the Rooster Card subscription, there is a monthly cost of £1.99 per month or an annual fee of £19.99 per card.

Signup with Rooster Money

Are Pocket Money Apps Safe?

Regulation:

Every product discussed in this article is backed by companies regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK. This ensures that they are credible and legitimate financial entities within the UK.

Restricted Purchases:

Children’s focused debit cards and banking products include built-in restrictions to ensure safety and provide parents peace of mind. Automatic blocks are in place for purchases that are not suitable for those under 18, such as gambling, pornography, alcohol, and tobacco.

However, these measures are not completely foolproof. For instance, a retailer like a supermarket may sell a range of products, including restricted items like alcohol and tobacco. This is where enhanced parental controls are essential.

Parental Controls And Oversight:

The associated apps offer robust parental controls, enabling parents and guardians to monitor all activity on their child’s card through the parent’s account. This includes receiving real-time notifications about any transactions or payments.

Parents have the option to block specific types of transactions, such as online purchases or ATM withdrawals. A key feature of these cards is that they are prepaid, which means parents load the funds that their children can spend, thus maintaining control over the total amount their child spends.

The Importance Of Teaching Kids About Money

Financial education is invaluable for children, laying the foundation for their future financial stability. Teaching kids about money helps them understand the importance of saving and equips them with the skills to manage their finances responsibly. However, failing to teach your children about money may leave them vulnerable to learning from less reliable sources, potentially receiving incorrect or harmful information.

As parents, it’s essential to act as positive financial role models, not just by instructing them on what to do, but by exemplifying sound financial practices through your own actions. By engaging your children in discussions about money and providing them with tools to handle common financial situations, you help them build a strong sense of financial independence and responsibility.

What’s The Difference Between A Kids’ Prepaid Debit Card And A Children’s Bank Account?

The primary difference is that a prepaid debit card is not linked to a bank account. Unlike children’s bank accounts, the cardholder can only spend the money that has been preloaded onto the card, rather than accessing funds within a bank account.

Prepaid debit cards designed for kids, like those mentioned in this article, typically come with additional features aimed at teaching children about finance and money management, often through an app. In contrast, a children’s bank account generally offers basic banking functions (excluding overdrafts), which can also be valuable for teaching kids about money.

Prepaid kids’ apps, such as Rooster Money and GoHenry, often come with a monthly fee. On the other hand, a child’s bank account provided by a bank usually does not have a monthly cost.

Some popular kids current accounts include:

  • Nationwide Flexone Account
  • Natwest Current Account
  • Halifax Expresscash Account

Best Pocket Money App – FAQ

IS THERE A DEBIT CARD FOR KIDS WITH NO FEES?

Yes! Hyperjar has no fees for its kids debit card, although it does have some restrictions (i.e. no ATM withdrawals). Starling Kite is also fee-free. However the parent or guardian must have a Starling Bank account.

CAN A 12 YEAR OLD GET A DEBIT CARD UK?

At 12 years old, a child can get a bank account, as most bank accounts have a minimum age of 11. They can also get a prepaid debit card such as the ones discussed in this article.

*Please note: This article may include affiliate links. If you purchase through these links, we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. This helps support our work and allows us to continue providing content like this.

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