Children’s pocket money is the latest expenditure to go digital, a new study by financial comparison sitemoney.co.uk1 has revealed.
The research highlights that almost a third of parents (31%) now pay their children’s pocket money directly into their bank accounts.
With recent reports also revealing that cash has fallen behind both debit and credit card purchases for the first time in history, and predictions that fewer than one in 10 transactions will be made using cash by 2028, the move towards a cashless society is gathering pace.
Traditional monetary gifting occasions are also moving away from physical cash. 59% of parents said they now send cash online for special occasions such as birthdays (41%) and almost two fifths (17%) said money from Santa was now being delivered digitally.
The money.co.uk poll of 2,000 parents with children aged four to 14 also highlighted that cash under the pillow could be on the way out too, with one in eight (13%) parents stating the tooth fairy paid money straight into children’s accounts.
Current accounts and prepaid cards like goHenry are the most popular forms of digital banking for children, with a quarter (25%) of parents choosing to pay pocket money into them.
Salman Haqqi, personal finance expert at money.co.uk, said: “Pocket money is a wonderful way for children to start to learn about finances. New banking apps aimed at kids include some fantastic tools and games that make learning about money visual and fun, without the need for stockpiling spare change.
“As our love affair with online shopping continues to intensify and smartphone shopping now the second most popular way to shop, it makes sense that parents would move more of their expenditures online, including their children’s pocket money.
“At money.co.uk we’ve seen a 47% rise in the number of visits to our children’s prepaid cards comparison table since February 2019, as more parents look to move to digital accounts for their youngsters.”
Teaching children to budget (26%), convenience (24%) and safety (20%) are the main reasons parents have turned digital with pocket money payments, with almost two fifths (17%) stating their child wants to spend their pocket money online or on their phone.
Today’s under 14’s receive an average yearly pocket money income of £241.28 (£4.64 a week), with London kids receiving the most at £348.40 per year (£6.70 a week) and those in the South West receiving the least at £189.80 a year (£3.65 a week).
The average starting pocket money for four-year olds in £2.38 per week, rising to £7.57 per week for 14-year olds.
Parents are happy to move online too with 50% saying it made talking to their kids about money easier.
Overall though, 71% said they still rely on spare change to introduce their children to finances but 52% have turned to the internet or mobile apps to start their offspring’s financial training, with most parents starting their banking discussions when their children are six years old.
1 National research of 2,000 parents with children aged four to 14 by Censuswide Research on behalf of money.co.uk (23-30 Sept 2019).