When to open an account for a child and learn about finances

Everyday finances ・ 04.08.2022

Children are different, but usually they have their first experience with pocket money when they start going to school. However, parents may often find themselves wondering when they should open a bank account for their children and get them bankcards, or whether cash will be enough.

Student cards and bankcards are often the first documents a child uses
It would be good to agree on a weekly or monthly allowance with the child, so they learn to plan their spending. You should consider transferring their pocket money once a week or every two weeks. This way, your child will know that the agreed amount will be transferred to their account a certain day, which makes it easier for them to practice planning their expenses. Transferring the money once a month would be easier for the parent, but planning their spending may prove to be more difficult for the child than the parents expect. The parent can set up a standing order to ensure they don’t forget to transfer the money.

It’s easy to teach a child to be careful with money with the help of bankcard. If the child doesn’t want to just spend it, they can leave it in the account and save it for a bigger purchase.

Getting a bankcard does not mean that the child will have to give up their piggy bank – they can put the coins they have carefully saved or earned from the neighbour for mowing the lawn in their bank account at a Coop branch or store free of charge. Coins can easily be lost, or a child may add them wrong in the shop. It’s also easier to carry a bankcard than coins.

Overview for parents
Using cash is often easy and logical. The child can see how much money they have and how they spend it. However, it’s important to make sure that your child understands how long they have to make their money last. When a child pays in cash, their parents have no idea how much and what the child spends their money on. When a child uses a bankcard, the parents can get an account statement and see how much the child has spent and where. This way, you can start shaping your child’s spending habits when they’re still very young. It’s possible to set separate limits for cash withdrawals and card payments in the Internet Bank. It’s also possible to restrict the possibility to make transfers. Parents can easily change the limits in the Internet or Mobile Bank, even temporarily, to pay for a larger purchase.

Opening a bank account for a child
A bank account can be opened for a child at a branch or contacting with Coop Pank customer support. A parent or a legal representative can open the account and you have to have your own identity document. You do not have to bring your child’s identity documents if your child is under 15 years old.

An account can be opened for a child free of charge and all banking services will also be free of charge for the until they turn 19.

Advantages of using a bankcard
Get Smart ID for your child and download the Coop Pank app on their phone to keep an eye on the account balance. This way, your child can always check that they have enough money for a bottle of soda in their account. And if they’re a couple of euros short when making a purchase, the parent can make a free transfer from their Coop Pank account, the money will be in the child’s account in seconds and they can continue paying for their purchase. If necessary, the child can withdraw cash at the nearest Coop store.

Contactless payments are easy for children, fast and convenient. Their payments are usually small, so they can make contactless payments when paying for most of them. However, they should still remember their PIN, as sometimes the bank asks them to confirm smaller payments with their PIN as well.

Using the bankcard safely
The likelihood of getting your money back when you lose your wallet or it’s stolen is very small. When you lose your bankcard, your money is protected with the PIN and the card can easily be blocked when it’s lost. Even if your child loses the bankcard or forgets their PIN, the money is not lost. You should still remind your child to inform their mum or dad immediately if they lose their bankcard, it is stolen or left behind in an ATM.

Using a bankcard is safer and easier than using cash, and it is also easier to control.

A few main truths about bankcards must be explained to the child:

  • they must memorise their PIN and never share it with their friends;
  • their PIN should never be written on the bankcard;
  • the bankcard must be kept in a safe place;
  • you must never give your bankcard to another person for safekeeping.


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