Trusting your children with money at a young age can be worrisome. You aren’t sure if they’ll spend it wisely or if they understand the value of money just yet and are ready to deal with it responsibly. Handing out pocket money in cash to teenagers also has its cons. You, as a parent, can never know if your child will use that cash on unwarranted spends.
Slonkit, a reloadable prepaid card-linked money management app, can help you lessen some of your worries. It lets parents get involved in the money management of their children and aims to teach young children how to manage their spends.
Slonkit is a money management app available both on Google and Apple stores. Once you download the app and complete the KYC (know-your-client) details, a reloadable prepaid card (with your child’s name on it) will reach you within seven working days. DCB Bank is the issuing bank and the card can be used at all places that accept Visa cards. You can load ₹ 1 lakh at any point in time subject to an annual limit of ₹ 12 lakh.
As a parent, you can manage cards of up to four children together. There are no registration charges. However, a fee of ₹ 100 (plus taxes) is charged annually. They have tie-ups with many hyperlocal merchants that are more relevant to students, apart from having exclusive offers at popular e-commerce websites like Amazon, Flipkart, BigBasket, and restaurants like Pizza Hut, McDonalds and KFC.
Both the child and the parent have the app on their phone. As a parent, just add the money you plan to give to your child. Once the money is loaded into the prepaid card, your child can use it like a normal debit card and use it for spends, both online and offline.
You can cap the monthly and daily spend limits on the app and ensure that your child doesn’t blow all the money in a day. The app also lets you control and cap the spends across different categories (like food and drinks, shopping, entertainment, and groceries) to make sure the child isn’t overspending by eating out or shopping, and always stays within the budget.
The app also has a “Go Dutch" feature; so your child can send and receive money from other Slonkit users and split a bill. There is a mobile recharge feature too.
Read: 3 financial products you can buy in your child’s name
The app also lets you either suspend a card or report a lost card seamlessly. If you suspend the card, it becomes inactive temporarily. You can reactivate this later. But if a card gets stolen, you can report it on the app and it gets blocked immediately. The card can’t be reused and you’ll have to get a new card by paying a small fee.
While the app is a great way to track your children’s money habits, it isn’t a debit card and doesn’t provide any other banking facility. The “Go Dutch" feature allows you to send and receive money from Slonkit users only. So if your friends don’t use Slonkit, you might still have to use cash.
The card also doesn’t let you withdraw cash from ATMs, which is a huge disadvantage considering India is still a country where cash is the king. So, your child won’t be able to use it at places that don’t have point of sale (PoS) machines.
A card like this makes more sense for children below 18 years as they don’t have any debit card of their own. However, for your college going child, who is 18 and above, this at best can act as an add-on card as she’s likely to have a bank account of her own and can also use other e-wallets for daily transactions.
But, as a parent, if you are wary of handing out huge cash to your teenager child every month, and want to keep track of his finances, this could be a good starting point but make sure his basic monthly cash requirements are met.