Founded in 2015 and based in Sydney, Spriggy is a money app and self described financial education tool which aims to provide a hands on financial experience for young Australians aged between 6-17.
Simply put, Spriggy provides an experience which replicates everyday banking where kids can spend money with their own card and put money towards savings goals, all with parental supervision.
To do that, Spriggy offers both a physical Visa Prepaid Card for over the counter purchases and the Spriggy app which can be used for everything from moving funds between different accounts, to viewing purchases and setting savings goals.
Spriggy is not a bank or neobank though, it's an independent money app. That means any funds moved into a Spriggy account are actually held by Brisbane-based Authorised Deposit-Taking institution (ADI) Indue.
Since launching in late 2016, over 400,000 Australians have joined up to become a Spriggy member, so if you’re interested in learning more about how Spriggy works including the products and app features it offers, read on below.
As a tool designed specifically for Australian children, you won’t find Spriggy offering any of the usual financial products associated with banks like term deposits or home loans. Instead, the team behind Spriggy have created a unique card and a number of in-app accounts. Here’s a quick run through:
While Spriggy doesn’t offer a bank account with a BSB or account number, it does have a couple of ‘accounts’ or ‘wallets’ accessible through the Spriggy app which can be used by kids and parents to transfer money, set goals and view transactions.
Parent Wallet: This is where parents can deposit funds from a linked bank account or debit card and then distribute them onto their kids card, towards a savings goal or even set up recurring transfers. Only parents can see the funds in the Parent Wallet.
Spriggy Account: This is the account linked to the Spriggy Visa Prepaid Card, so funds inside it can be used by kids to spend with their Spriggy card. Money inside of this account is visible to both kids and parents through the app, and parents also have a full view of the transactions being made on the card.
As the name suggests, the Spriggy Visa Prepaid Card is a prepaid card attached to the Spriggy Account which can be used by kids to make purchases both in store and online.
For over-the-counter purchases there’s an option to use either tap and go (for purchases under $100) or PIN (for purchases over $100) wherever Visa is accepted. That means it can be used both in Australia and overseas, though there is a 3.5% international transaction fee for purchases abroad. It can even be used on a smartphone with Apple Pay or Google Pay!
There is a minimum $1 balance requirement and a maximum $999 balance on the card though, and for the time being there’s no ATM withdrawal functionality (though this is a feature Spriggy says it may introduce). There’s also no overdraft facility, which means that kids won’t be able to spend more than the balance on the card.
The Spriggy card is even customisable, with a range of different card designs available including super heroes like Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman.
So what are some of the app features that can make Spriggy a handy tool for both parents and kids? Before we dive in, it’s worth noting that the Spriggy app comes with separate logins for both kids and parents in order to give kids a sense of independence on the one hand, while still providing parents with oversight. Here are some of the standout features.
While the Spriggy app does come with separate logins, parents will still ultimately have control over how money is distributed to their children's card(s) and they’ll be able to see where money is being spent. Some of the other parental control features in the app include:
Spriggy has also introduced an ‘age-appropriate purchases’ measure which blocks merchants that sell alcohol, tobacco or gambling services.
Aside from introducing kids to spending, Spriggy actively promotes the idea of saving within their app with the ‘savings goal’ feature. Whether it’s putting money away for a new bike, a Nintendo Switch or something smaller, kids are able to set up savings goals either through their own side of the app or with the help of their parents.
Savings goals can be named and can even include a picture, and once initiated they’ll show both the target amount and the amount saved so far (e.g. $75 out of $140 saved). Savings are also held in the Parents Wallet so they can’t be accessed or spent before they’re completed!
Want to make those household chores official? Well the Spriggy app lets you do just that with ‘Spriggy jobs’. Chores like stacking the dishes or taking out the trash can be set up in the Parent Wallet as a one-off or recurring job with a dollar figure attached. Once the job is completed kids can submit it for approval in the app, parents can mark it as finished and then the payment will be released.
If you’re looking for a way to introduce your kids to the fundamentals of every banking and finance, Spriggy could be the money app for you - especially if you’re looking to find a balance between giving them a hands on experience, while still guiding them along the way. As a purpose-built app for kids it offers features that you won’t be able to get with a bank account or savings account from an actual bank.
However, it’s worth reiterating that Spriggy is not a bank! It’s a money app, which means that any money you do have in a Spriggy account (even if it is held by their ADI) won’t be covered under the Federal Government’s Deposit Guarantee Scheme.
It also currently lacks a few features that you may consider to be important such as being able to use the card to withdraw cash from an ATM, and the lack of any interest rate on savings (because it’s not an actual savings account).
And Spriggy isn’t free! While they do offer a free 30 day trial, the annual Spriggy membership fee is $30 per child.
As you’d expect from a money app, signing up to Spriggy is simple. You’ll simply need to head to their website and fill out a couple of your own details (name, date of birth, email and mobile), your child’s name to appear on the card, and the address you want the card to be shipped to and you’ll be on your way!
You’ll then be able to download the Spriggy app via the Apple App Store or Google Play Store depending on your device.