Six-year-olds are now saving and paying from their smartphones.
How did you learn about the value of money?
In a very simple way, coins teach us that money is something you can be given, and that when you spend it, it’s gone.
However, without physical cash it can be a strange concept for children to grasp, we learned at Copenhagen’s Tech BBQ conference last week.
“We are moving from a cash society into a cashless society, but when you spend digital money, you still have your smartphone or your credit card in your hand,” Danish entrepreneur Louise Ferslev told The Memo.
“It makes it difficult for kids to understand what digital money is worth.”
Fortunately, Ferslav has made an app to teach kids about future finance – it’s called MyMonii, and your bank is probably already planning on copying it.
MyMonii is an allowance app designed to teach children (aged seven to fifteen) about the value of money. Both parents and kids can access a child’s online account to see how they earn, save, and spend.
A child might, for example, be credited with pocket money for specific tasks, like taking out the bins or doing the washing up – or money might be put in as a birthday gift.
Kids can then set goals to save towards things they want to buy, like a new bike. And when they make payments from their smartphone in shops, it’s easy for them to see how that money has left their account for good.
“I want parents to feel they’re teaching their kids to be safe, that they won’t reach the age of 18 and still be totally confused about their private economy,” says Ferslev.
“I want kids to feel confident and grown-up, and proud of paying with their own money.”
When asked if any age was too young for such an app, Ferslev says ultimately parents know best.
“Some 6-year-olds are very mature for their age, they have their own smartphone they already have an interest in money – on the other hand some 10-year-olds are even less mature than that 6-year-old.”
“When the kids are interested and asking for information, our app can help them feel more independent, to take charge of their own responsibilities, and to learn good basics for future,” she explains.
Ferslev has already partnered with Nets, the Nordic payments provider, and is testing MyMonii in Copenhagen with around 100 families.
What’s more, having already raised 500,000 krona (£61,299) in 2015, and a further 2m krona (£245,000) this summer, the businesswomen has her eye set on expansion.
Ferslev is currently in talks with Danish banks with the aim of offering a white label solution that could be sold across Europe and beyond.
“We don’t want to take the MyMonii brand to each country,” Ferslev explains. “We would like to take the five biggest banks in each new country, and offer them our solution as a sales funnel for their future bank customers ”
“They can take our working software, put their logos and colours on it, and put it into the app stores as their own.”
We all know that banks are keen to innovate, and Ferslev hopes her breakthrough business will help.
“It will be key to their survival to partner with smaller companies like us,” she adds.
“The bank of the future will not be like we know it today – everything will be more digitised, with advice from chatbots, and even simpler on-screen tools.”
At least MyMonii will help prepare our kids for this reality.