The world of money and children

How can they be safely introduced to this system?

Your child has grown up and you’d like to give him some pocket money? You want to introduce them to budgeting, teach them the value of money and things, and ensure that they always have money available if they need it. Pocket money is also a way for him to show his independence from you, and to cover his daily expenses on his own: a movie with friends, transport, a meal, clothes, etc. It’s also a good way to show him that he’s no longer a child, and to make him feel more responsible.

According to a survey conducted by Harris Interactive for the French Banking Federation (FBF) in March 2019, 47% of children aged 8 to 14 receive pocket money. On average, children become aware of the value of money from the age of 7, the age at which they start learning numbers at school. Yes, but you don’t want to give him money directly, for fear of it being stolen or lost. So you decide to provide him with a bank card, but you’re at a loss when you see all the different cards banks offer for minors.

First and foremost, it’s important to know that traditional banks don’t offer real bank cards with immediate debit until the age of 16. From the age of 16, teenagers can have a standard bank card and even a checkbook, always under the watchful eye of their parents. Before this age of “financial freedom”, banks offer several types of cards suitable for young people from the age of 12, depending on the degree of autonomy their parents wish to give them.

Here are the three main types of cards offered by banks for 12-17 year-olds:

1. Withdrawal card

This card is linked to the child’s savings account (Livret A or Livret Jeune) and is only used to withdraw cash from ATMs. Depending on the bank, it can be used only in the network’s branches, or anywhere in France and abroad. Parents can set the card to limit the number and amount of withdrawals per week and month. It costs between €0 and €20 per year. This card is aimed at teenagers whose parents want their children to learn how to manage a budget while controlling their spending. It’s also for teenagers whose parents want to wait to give them their first payment card. 

2. Reloadable prepaid card

Other, more advanced functionalities are emerging on the basis of prepaid, notably with the arrival of electronic wallets and the concepts of mother and daughter cards with the use of card-to-card transfers, but also with the arrival of contactless payment media (cell phones, connected watches, etc.).

3. International card with systematic authorisation

This is an international bank card linked to a real account on which you can set up transfers and direct debits. On the other hand, there is no risk of overdraft, since a systematic authorisation request is made for each payment. This card is coupled with an application that enables teenagers to manage their budget and view their spending. Parents have total control. It costs an average of €20 a year, and is still very attractive, as it is less expensive than a classic immediate debit card, available from the age of 16, at a cost of €40 a year.

Today, these cards have a number of advantages: they are often very inexpensive and, above all, “risk-free”; banks “invest in the future”; and they also teach budget management from an early age.

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