Pick a card, any card!
No no, not those kind of cards.
We’re talking debit cards here. And you certainly shouldn't pick one of those for your kids at random.
Let’s face it. There are quite a few on the market. And just like buying a brand new shiny car, it's tricky to know where to even start.
Enter RISE in a cape crashing through the ceiling
That’s where we can help! (We like to make a dramatic entrance.)
Let’s start with the one fundamental starting point when it comes to choosing the right debit card for your kids.
Understand what you want it to do for your kids.
A simple, but super effective place to start.
You wouldn't buy a 4-wheel drive off-roader complete with survival tent if you want a car for commuting a couple of kms a day around Brussels, would you?
And if you do, well. We need to have words.
When it comes to choosing the right card, know what you, as parents, want it to offer your child.
Most focussed on giving your child independence? A spending account and card will suffice.
Want to give your child the opportunity to make basic money decisions? Make sure you get a card from a bank that's not only attached to a spending account but a savings one too.
Want to teach your child healthy money habits for the future? Choose a debit card from a bank that’s primary focus is financial education.
Want a combination of all of the above? You have come to the right place with RISE.
Note: You should also talk to your teen about what they want. They’ll be using the card the most after all!
Make a list of all your options
Let’s assume you’ve chosen - you want your kids to not only learn how to make basic decisions about their money, but also learn how to turn these decisions into healthy money habits with practice.
Nice one, we do too! That’s RISE in a nutshell.
But there are still some options out there; the world of personal banking is constantly changing so make sure you do your research.
Here’s a list of things to consider before making your final list of contenders:
- What’s the minimum age of the card holder?
- What’s the price of the card and account per month or year?
- Does the bank take any commissions?
- Does the bank provide a mobile app and is it good? (If either of these answers is “NO”, we suggest you look elsewhere - just like broccoli, your kid won't go anywhere near it.)
- Do they provide customer support in a way that fits your needs? Will you be waiting on the phone for hours on end?
Make your choice
Once you know exactly what you want, you can easily narrow it down to the final lucky few.
Find out which one will best suit you and your objective to raise a financially-savvy teen.
1. What do you really want your teen to learn about when it comes to financial education? Not just right now, but also in the future.
- spending & making short term vs. long term trade-offs
- saving & saving goals
- how to start investing little amounts
- balancing spending with giving to good cause
2. What parental control features will you find the most useful?
Will you make the most of:
- automatic transfers for pocket money
- instant notifications
- spending limits
- card freezing features
3. How much importance do you give payment flexibility?
Does it matter if:
- The card can be used online
- It’s protected by a secure payment system (like MasterCard)
- It can be used globally at ATMs
Before ordering, explain how learning healthy money habits is super important for them to be living securely as adults - getting a card is the perfect way to start learning through practice, and you’ll be right with them along the way.
Talk to them about the choice of card you’ve made and then take in what they’ve got to say. You never know what’s the talk of the classroom.
Once the card’s arrived, and you’ve had fun setting up the app, have another conversation about ground rules - make sure your teen feels safe to start experimenting because learning by doing is the best way to learn, especially when it comes to important life skills like money management.
Know that you can always change
Finally, you probably remember the days when changing banks was a nightmare.
It’s a lot easier these days, and it's important to keep in mind that you and your teen are the boss of what happens to your own money. So if you're not happy, switch banks.
After all, it’s up to financial institutions to offer debit cards and apps that give you and you kid everything you need - whilst inspiring you with even more.