An introduction to banking, for kids

First Option’s Under-18 Memberships are exclusively for kids, with close parental/guardian supervision.

A kid’s membership can include a couple of accounts to help them get used to the idea of budgeting: an everyday account which has an attached Visa debit card (for ages 12 and over only) and a high-interest, online-only savings account: the Kids Bonus Saver, without a Visa card.

Having a spending account and a savings account is the foundation of teaching them basic good financial management skills.

This short video with Dr Steve is a nice introduction to budgeting, you can watch it on the Better banking page of the First Option website: How – First Option Bank

First steps after opening a new kids membership

First Option Visa debit cards can be easily added to digital wallets (Apple and Google) on your mobile phone. You can add a Visa debit card to multiple digital wallets, so you can put a kids card into parents’ digital wallets as well as on their own device if they have one. And of course, the (recycled) plastic card, the one with the family riding the bike, has all the same functions as the digital card for kids to access their money.

The Visa cards with the little emu wren bird on them are our credit cards, and attached Environmental Rewards program.

Using the accounts

Set-up a PayID to the new account so friends and family can send money (pocket money, birthday money etc) without needing account and BSB details, either directly into the high-interest savings account or their everyday account (S1).

A PayID is an email address or a mobile phone number that is uniquely attached to the account, you can set-up a free email account for your child with a service like Gmail and that email address can serve as the PayID for their account.

Here is a very short instructional video about setting-up PayIDs.

Set-up regular transfers into their Kids Bonus Saver accounts (minimum $5 per month) to start them saving, and ensure they qualify for the 5.55% pa bonus interest rate each month. They’re easy to set up in the First Option app as ‘Future payments’, just choose ‘Recurring’ option for the payment and choose the destination as a ‘Transfer’ between their accounts, or from the parent’s account to theirs.

Alerts for parents

A fantastic feature of Kids Memberships is being able to set transaction, balance or other alerts to go to you so you can monitor your child’s spending and saving. You can have the alerts sent to you in real-time by SMS or as a summary by email.

This short video is a simple guide to setting up alerts.

Statements are another great way to track savings progress and see where there spending goes. Encouraging kids to review their statements regularly is also excellent practice for keeping their money safe and sound. You can access digital statements through internet banking.

Then talk to our team about setting up higher-level functions on Under-18 memberships like savings goals, sweeps and splits – they can be a great way to automate your own banking and budgeting too!

Read about our new 5.55%pa Kids Bonus Saver account, and apply to open one now.