If you give your child an allowance or are considering doing so soon, you don’t want to miss this. Current just launched a new app that provides children and teenagers with a Visa debit card that their parents can control using a smartphone. Since so many businesses take credit cards, the need to have cash in hand is becoming less and less crucial. Plus, how time-consuming and annoying can it be to have to run to the ATM to take out cash whenever you need to give your kid some money? Current takes care of that by allowing digital money transfers right into the Visa “account” of the recipient.
But that’s just the beginning. Current has several other features that can help children learn to be financially responsible from an early age. Too often teenagers graduate from high school and head off to college with little to no knowledge of how to budget their funds while living on their own. By teaching your children how to spend their cash, you’re providing them with an invaluable education in personal finance.
Techcrunch has more on Current:
The app allows parents to set up chores that have to be first completed and reviewed before the allowance is paid out, or parents can choose to auto-transfer an amount of their choosing on a weekly basis.
By combining the app with the Visa debit card, kids get a sense of autonomy, but spending can still be monitored and controlled at parents’ discretion. For example, parents can set spending limits on how much can be blown through in a day, or pulled out of an ATM. (You’ll want to do this, too, as they’re set at typical levels by default – $500 from ATMs and $2,000 in daily spending.)
In addition, parents can block the card from being used at certain categories of businesses that aren’t kid-appropriate or require parents’ knowledge and permission – like casinos, bars, airlines, and more. Parents can even block select merchants, but only after an initial transaction has taken place.
The wallet also offers built-in savings features, including the ability to round-up purchases to the next dollar to save the change, or transfer money in from the “spending wallet” – the child’s main bank account.
The app allows kids to easily check their balance and spending patterns, and it also provides ways to look for charities to which they might like to donate. Current isn’t free, but a $2-$3 per month (with a 1 or 2-year subscription) cost could be invaluable as your child learns how to spend (and more importantly how to save) money.