Today, Aussie parents welcome a new low-cost prepaid card and app combo for kids and teens, ZAAP.
Owned by Zenith Payments, which has been providing prepaid gift cards since 2005, ZAAP is an Australian owned and operated digital money alternative for youngsters.
ZAAP recommend this new prepaid Mastercard for children aged between 8 and 17, and it can cost parents $9.95 to initially purchase the card.
The company aims to empower young people and guide them to financial success by exposing them to digital banking early in life.
“As digital banking becomes more and more popular, the way we teach kids about managing their finances is changing and we have to keep up with trends,” Mozo Director, Kirsty Lamont said.
“It’s important that there are ways for young Aussies to be exposed to digital banking, but in a safe and controlled way that lets parents take the reins when they need to.”
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They have the option to design their own card by uploading a personal photo to the ZAAP website or choosing from a range of designs - although personalised cards come with a $20 purchase fee.
Alternatively, kids can use a wearable band, which is installed with a Paypass chip to make payments and comes in three colours - pink, blue or black. This also comes with a purchase fee of $20.
ZAAP also released an app that is designed to help parents monitor and guide children financially, as well as give kids the chance to set up savings goals.
How does the ZAAP app work?
Whether a kid uses a customised ZAAP card or a wearable ZAAP band, everything can be tracked and controlled through the ZAAP app. There are two sets of log-in details for the same card, one for mums and dads, and one for the child.
Parents can manage multiple childrens’ ZAAP accounts with the family, with the handy Parent Wallet which allows them to make deposits, block the card in case it's lost and monitor their childrens’ spending.
Parent Wallets can be topped up through an external linked debit or credit card, and transfers from Parent Wallets to Child Accounts can be made manually within the app or using the ‘set and forget’ option to make regular transfers which could be ideal for weekly pocket money.
But don’t forget the kids! For children and teens, the ZAAP app allows them to check their balance as well as set up savings targets, through a separate child’s Savings Wallet.
What features does ZAAP offer?
So just to recap, ZAAP has 5 main features to help both parents and kids in teaching and learning about money management.
- Parent Wallet: The place parents first deposit their funds from a linked debit or credit card.
- Child's ZAAP Account: The transaction account linked to a ZAAP payment method for kids to use. (Parents can make transfers from their Parent Wallet to this account.)
- ZAAP payment method: The personalised prepaid card or wearable band that kids use to make purchases. (Parents can temporarily lock these payment methods in case a child has misplaced or lost it.)
- Child's Savings Wallet: Separate to the Child’s ZAAP account, this account is used for a savings goal. Regular scheduled or manual transfers can be made from the transaction account to the Savings Wallet.
- ZAAP app: This is where all the action happens. Both parents and children get their own login details and can access different functions for the same account. Parents can manage their childrens’ money, make deposits, lock cards and track spending, while kids can set up savings goals and also see where their money is going by viewing their transaction history.
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What fees are charged on a ZAAP debit card?
Aside form the initial purchase fee, you'll also need to look out for fees including:
- $2 monthly fee per child account
- 1.5% reload fee each time you add money to your Parent Wallet
- $2 inactivity fee after 90 days
- $10 card closure fee if you decide you no longer want an account
- A foreign exchange fee of 3% of the Australian dollar amount of the transaction when your child spends in any currency other than Australian dollars or with any merchant located outside Australia.
If those fees have you second guessing, you might want to search for a regular bank account and debit card for your kids instead, and look for a fee-free option you can keep a small balance in.
Interested in what other digital banking options are out there? Head over to our fintech hub for a bunch of useful articles about what’s currently on the market.