Fin tech, or financial technology, is all the rage right from. From online payments and instant loans to neo banking and finance apps, technology is all pervasive in the world of finance. A new frontier is digital pocket money for kids, to help them learn financial prudence.
While Generation Y and millennials well understand and use the power of digital for things related to their finance, Generation Z is still getting accustomed to it. At such a time comes a new concept, digital pocket money, to help kids with the discipline of saving and spending within a budget, and get them used to online payments.
Ankit Gera, the co-founder of Junio, an app-based Smart Card for children’s digital pocket money, says imparting financial literacy to kids is very valuable for parents. Junio allows for pocket money for both the digital and physical world, and seeks to help children manage expenses independently, while parents keep an eye on them. Kids learn how to earn, spend and save, and ultimately, invaluable money lessons for the real world. Gera is a PayTm alumus, along with co-founder Shankar Nath. Junio is set to do a public launch on the Playstore some time this month.
Lifestyle Asia India spoke with Gera to understand the idea of digital pocket money better, and learn how parents can monitor how their kids are spending money.
What has the response to been to Junio so far, and how are you planning to scale it up in the upcoming year?
We are currently doing beta testing with 100+ parents from our network and all have been very keen on this concept of teaching ‘value of money’ to their children early in life. Feedback has been encouraging.
The pandemic didn’t have much of an impact on our work, considering we were in a development phase for the last three months. But it has definitely increased the need for digital payments and hence the usage of ‘cards’ over cash.
Where does Junio as an idea stand out?
The present need is of digital payment compared to cash. Millennials are shopping online, ordering food, paying for a roadblock in a game. Parents have realised this need too. They are not comfortable handing over their personal credit cards to kids because they can’t control the amount being spent and what it’s being used for. If they can give their child a personal Junio card at the subscription cost of less than a cup of coffee then it’s a win-win situation. Imparting financial literacy to their kids will be very valuable for parents.
When it comes to money, kids can easily fall prey to online frauds. How does one keep a check on that?
This is a much bigger problem, especially in cases when a parent has to lend their own card to kids for online purchases. The card limits are much higher and hence the risk exposure. Junio, being a prepaid card, has spending capped at the amount of pocket money that a child gets. Also, parents can set category spending guidance on a child’s card, for example, a child can’t spend more than 20% on online games. Junio app will also periodically educate kids on card safety-related aspects.
How does Junio help in inculcating saving habits among children and in-app tasks?
Parent and child can set up a saving goal in the Junio app. Let’s say a child wants to buy a bicycle of Rs 5,000. A child can then decide to keep aside 20% of every month’s pocket money towards this saving goal. A parent can agree to top up once a certain amount is saved towards that goal. As soon as Rs 5,000 is reached, the child can buy a bicycle.
Now, compare it with a current scenario where a parent would just buy it on-demand. The child doesn’t value it that much because he didn’t save or earn that money and may not get a sense of what it takes to earn Rs 5,000 in real life. Similarly, a parent can set certain tasks like ‘Make your bed every day’, ‘Pick up your utensils after meal’ to earn extra Rs 50 every time, on top of the fixed pocket money. This not only instils desired behaviour in a child but also makes them earn money that they spend.
FinTechs are in a dynamic but cluttered stage and space. How does one sustain and grow in this jammed landscape?
In India, there aren’t many players in this domain who are trying to digitise pocket money and other child-related spends. Globally, we have seen quite a few very successful companies who are doing exactly the same and we are confident that such an offering will be appreciated by Indian parents
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