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  • Writer's pictureDonnelle Brooks

Commbank Kit: Pocket Money app for kids

The newly launched Kit app, supported by CommBank, is geared towards helping parents and school-aged kids enhance their financial capabilities in an ever-evolving digital landscape.


Overview:


What is Commbank Kit?

Designed as an 'earning-and-learning' money app, Kit addresses the challenges faced by parents as they navigate their children's increasing interaction with digital devices, online games, and a decreasing reliance on cash. This initiative follows CommBank's withdrawal from school banking in late 2021.


A study commissioned by Kit and conducted by YouGov revealed that 48% of parents avoid discussing money with their children. Despite 72% expressing concerns about the impact of online games on their children's money attitudes, avoidance remains prevalent. Additionally, as digital spending becomes more accessible, 49% of parents noted that their children have spent money without their knowledge.



How Does Commbank Kit work?

Kids have their Kit account and prepaid card.

Children with their Kit account and prepaid card experience a dynamic and educational approach to managing money. With the 'PayDay' feature, kids can earn money tied to completed chores, fostering a sense of responsibility. The platform offers customizable savings 'Stacks' adorned with animated water levels, providing a vivid representation of their savings goals. The Kit prepaid card, functioning akin to a debit card, not only facilitates tap-and-go purchases but also allows ATM withdrawals. For added convenience, Apple Pay is available for children aged 13 and above, with Google Pay anticipated in the near future. Moreover, the 'Boss Mode' feature within the Kit app empowers parents by providing control through customizable features such as spend limits and merchant blocks, ensuring a secure and monitored financial experience for both parents and children.


Is Commbank Kit free?

No, however Kit offers a 30-day free trial for users to explore its features. After the trial period, you can opt for different subscription plans. For a single-child plan, you can choose between $3 per month or $30 per year. If you're looking for a family plan, the options are $5 per month or $50 per year. Detailed information on pricing is available for reference. Additionally, CommBank Yello customers who are eligible can enjoy a complimentary 12-month membership for free.



What age is Commbank Kit for?

Commbank Kit is designed for children aged 5 years and older. It serves as an earning-and-learning, mindfully-spending, and money-mastering app. The platform incorporates gamified learning techniques to impart financial knowledge to kids. Commbank Kit also provides a digital prepaid card accessible within the app, along with the option for a physical card, offering a comprehensive approach to financial education for children aged 5 and above.


Kit vs Spriggy

Spriggy and Kit stand out as contenders for the most popular pocket money apps, each bringing a unique set of features and offerings for parents looking to instill money management skills in their children. Both platforms provide prepaid Visa cards, coupled with parental controls through dedicated apps. However, a closer look at their distinct characteristics reveals key differences that may influence the choice between the two.


Spriggy

Features: Delivers a prepaid Visa card tailored for tap-and-go purchases, accompanied by real-time spending visibility for parents via the app.

Payment and Chores: Empowers parents to establish a regular payment schedule for pocket money and assign chores with designated payments upon completion.

Parental Link: Requires parents to link their bank account or debit card to the parent app.

Interest and Safety: Not affiliated with a bank; consequently, no interest is earned on savings, and funds are not covered by the Australian Government Financial Claims Scheme. The cards boast a vibrant and colorful design, yet savings do not accrue interest.

Device Requirement: Mandates that the child has their own device for tracking savings goals and pocket money.

Fees: Imposes an annual fee of $60 for up to 4 kids, a relatively high cost for a single-child membership.



Kit

Features: Provides a prepaid Visa card suitable for both online and in-store purchases, granting children the ability to withdraw money from ATMs (operator fees may apply).

Ownership: Despite being backed by the Commonwealth Bank, Kit is not owned by a bank, leaving the money on the Kit card unprotected if the company were to fold. The account functions as a transaction account with no interest.

Parental Link: Requires parents to link their bank account for scheduling regular payments as pocket money. Chore-dependent payments and 'Bonus Jobs' are also available.

Savings Goals: Introduces generic "General Savings" Goals (Stacks) for children to save for special items. Money in Stacks cannot be spent until transferred back into the main child account.

Pricing: Offers a 30-day free trial; subscription plans include $3 per month or $30 per year for a single child, and $5 per month or $50 per year for a family plan.

In summary, while both Spriggy and Kit share common features such as prepaid Visa cards and parental controls, nuances in ownership, fees, and additional features create a distinct landscape for parents to consider. The choice between the two platforms ultimately hinges on individual preferences and the specific needs of each family.



Commbank Kit fees

  • Kit is free for the first 30 days, available to customers of any financial institution.

  • Subsequent pricing plans include $3 a month or $30 per year for the single-child plan and $5 a month or $50 a year for the multi-child plan (up to 5 kids).

  • CommBank Yello customers enjoy 12 months of free membership.

  • Kit charges no account, card, transaction, or withdrawal fees (ATM operator fees may still apply).

  • Default limits include a maximum account balance of $5,000, a maximum top-up of $1,000 per day, bank transfers capped at $5,000 per day, ATM cash out limited to $250 per day, and card transactions capped at $999 per day (spend limits can be set in-app).



Commbank Kit Review: The Bottom Line

The launch of Kit comes in response to new research revealing the challenges parents face as children increasingly engage with digital devices, while the use of cash rapidly declines. Yish Koh, Managing Director of Kit, highlighted the evolving landscape of children's interactions with money, emphasizing the struggles parents face amid constant in-app purchases, gaming offers, and daily enticements.



Kit is positioned as an 'earning-and-learning' money app designed to help school-aged kids build financial capability through engaging, experiential learning. In the trial phase, available to 5,000 people in Australia, children can earn money linked to completed chores, create customizable savings 'Stacks' with animated water levels, and access their funds through ATMs or by making purchases with a prepaid card.


The app's unique features are grounded in evidence-based research on positive financial behaviors. Dr. Bowen Fung from the Behavioral Insights Team highlighted the importance of financial socialization, emphasizing Kit's tools and features that facilitate conversations between parents and children about money in an engaging manner.


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