How to Build a Financial Literacy App for Kids
If you’re looking for new ideas for a FinTech startup, consider creating a financial literacy app for kids. Parents are constantly looking for new ways to introduce their children to the world of finances and money. What better way to do that than through a mobile app. In this article, you’ll find out what FinTech for kids is, what the top apps are in this sphere, and how to make one.
What is FinTech for kids?
Kid’s FinTech apps teach financial literacy and money management to children and teens. Modern financial applications for youth emphasize mobility, parental control, cashless transactions, promotion of savings, and lessons in financial literacy. In FinTech apps for kids, financial companies have found a way to simplify parents’ lives and at the same time cultivate future customers in Generation Z and even Generation Alpha. In the United States, almost 25% of the population is under 19. In Europe, teenagers and younger kids make up 20% of the population. These numbers reveal a big market for financial literacy app development.
Typically, financial companies don’t aim their products at kids because they don’t consider them profitable, but Gen Z can become an exception. Members of Generation Z are true digital natives. They tend to go for mobile app solutions to fulfill their needs whenever possible.
Also, targeting kids can be quite a strategic move for financial companies. It’s not only about teaching young people financial literacy but also about becoming relevant and staying relevant. Companies like Stripe, Revolut, Visa, and Mastercard know this and have already hopped on the trend.
Brands that have succeeded in getting the attention and trust of younger generations have the opportunity to be the top-of-mind provider for loans, credit cards, and any other financial products down the line.
3 types of financial apps for kids
Chore and allowance management apps
The first kind of financial literacy apps for kids are based on chores and allowances. Parents use these apps to teach kids about earning money by assigning chores and establishing the amount they’ll pay when they’re completed.
Debit account apps
Parents who want to give their children more control over their purchases can use apps connected to debit card accounts. Such apps give kids a bit more freedom while parents can still control the learning process.
This type of financial literacy app incorporates the benefits of FinTech trackers with experience managing real money. The market is full of great apps in this category that include controls for parents to monitor their children’s spending and allowance tracking features to demonstrate the connection between hard work and earning money.
Another type of financial literacy app for kids is based on simulated spending. Financial education apps teach kids about finances through games. Children can imagine how they would manage money and make financial decisions in a spending simulator app.
Key steps to developing banking apps for kids and teens
When developing a FinTech app for kids and teens, the focus is usually on making the app cool enough for Gen Z and still presentable to parents. But there’s so much more you need to take into account when it comes to developing FinTech apps for children. Here’s a list of key steps to developing a banking app for kids and teens:
- Focus on developing a strong educational component and present it in a simple and gamified manner.
- Create onboarding procedures that will be understandable and intuitive for parents. Also, remember that such apps should include parental controls.
- Consider the age of users. Kids of various ages will likely use your app, so make the design and feature set adjustable.
- Follow strong security standards:
- Use tunneling security protocols
- Research the limitations of legacy technologies
- Invest in vulnerability testing
- Form partnerships with payment card associations, banks, or other companies to ensure safe and easy payments.
- Research the market and users to discover the following:
- What features children and their parents prefer
- The minimum age at which parents consider it suitable to start teaching personal financial management
- What types of apps are appealing and useful to children and teens
- Analyze the competition to see what competitors are doing right and replicate those things in your app. You can also find out what’s missing from existing FinTech apps and implement new features in your product to stand out from the crowd.
- Don’t forget to create user journeys and user flows for both children and parents.
- Include layouts and transitions when working on the UX design and wireframes. Also, when working on the UX design for a FinTech app for kids, don’t forget factors that are unique to young users. For example, make sure the app buttons are within a kid’s finger reach.
6 best financial literacy apps for kids and teens
There’s no age requirement to be money-savvy, and some kids are finding that out early because of apps designed to get them started on financial literacy. Here are six apps that teach kids how to make, save, budget, and spend their money.
BusyKid is focused on earning money through chores. Parents can set an allowance and assign tasks throughout the week that add opportunities for a child to increase their income. For example, taking out the trash once a week could be worth $0.75. Kids and parents have their own dashboards. When a child marks a chore as complete on their dashboard, parents can approve it as complete on their own dashboard. When chores and allowances are approved, the app transfers money from a parent’s checking account to the child’s allowance buckets.
Payday is every Friday to make the experience feel like a real first job. The BusyKid app is divided into three parts: save, share, and spend. The save part saves 40% of income automatically, while the share part gives kids the ability to choose whether to give money to charity or make real investments in real companies. The app costs $24.99 a year for the whole family.
Bankaroo is all about making smart money decisions. The app teaches kids to manage their budgets, save up for goals, and be money smart. In Bankaroo, kids get their own virtual bank accounts that parents can add funds to as they wish or in the form of a scheduled allowance. Kids can then keep track of their savings and record spending. The app encourages kids to set goals and save towards them.
Also, parents get real-time updates via email and notifications whenever their kids do something in the app like change a goal. Kids can log in to the app on their own devices as well as their parents’ devices. Bankaroo is free and can also be used through a web browser.
This financial literacy app is all about spending. Greenlight is a debit card that only works if a parent approves a purchase through the app. Parents can use the Greenlight app to transfer funds, set spending limits, automate monthly or yearly allowance payments, and create one-time paid chores. Kids can send purchase requests and even include text messages and photos. If parents approve a purchase, the money is sent to the child’s Greenlight card automatically.
This app lets kids get what they want while parents know what they’re buying. The app also gives parents the ability to set interest rates on their kids’ accounts (payable to the parents). Greenlight costs $4.99 a month for the whole family (up to 5 kids).
The Greenlight app lets children monitor their balances within Spend, Save, and Give accounts, create savings goals and budgets, create direct deposits for paychecks, and receive money from relatives and friends.
Unlike the previous apps targeted at children, Current is designed for teens aged 13 to 17. This product is focused on teaching teens financial responsibility and independence and provides them with their first real bank account.
Current provides personal checking and teen banking options. Teens get a Visa debit card with the ability to manage their purchases, create budgets, and make other financial transactions with an account controlled by a parent.
What distinguishes Current from similar teen money management apps is its round-up tool. By choosing the round-up option, each purchase is rounded up to the next dollar and the additional change is deposited into Savings Pods. Also, teens have the option to donate the money earned from goal-setting to charity. They can set savings goals, track spending, and set up direct deposit for paychecks. Parents can block spending within specific business categories, create and track chores for their kids, and set limits on daily spending and ATM withdrawals. Current costs $36 per teen per year.
The Game of Life
The Game of Life is one of the best financial game apps. The app is based on the popular board game that simulates life decisions and milestones. This app is most suitable for the youngest kids to learn about spending money and life decisions. Users can play with others online, play against the computer, or play with a friend. Decisions to go to college, buy a house, or have children come with financial consequences.
The game ends with players selling their homes, cashing in on action cards, and paying off their debts to get their net worth. The player with the most wealth wins. The app costs $2.99, making it a cheap app to add to a child’s arsenal of financial literacy simulations.
Homey is similar to BusyKid in that it’s a money management app for kids. But unlike other apps, it focuses on helping children and teens understand the difference between responsibilities and work. The app has a family chat feature so kids and teens can send pictures to their parents to show the progress of their chores and show the final result as proof that they’ve completed a task. Also, kids can set and keep track of their financial goals.
In Homey, parents have the opportunity to divide chores between responsibilities and work. Responsibilities are chores that have no monetary value, while work is chores for which parents will pay. Parents also can schedule chores with a set frequency. The app is free up to three accounts and then costs $4.99 per month.
Now that you know how important it is to teach children financial literacy, you might come to the conclusion that making a FinTech app for kids is a great idea. Remember that as a financial company, targeting kids is a good investment in future success.
Here are the key takeaways:
- Financial literacy applications can be divided into three main types: chore and allowance management, debit card apps, and spending simulators.
- Focus on the educational part when developing a financial management app for kids.
- Conduct research and find out what parents and kids expect from your app.
- Check the competition. We’ve provided you with a comparison of the top apps on the market. Find apps that are similar to your idea and study what’s missing and what’s great about them.
- Security is everything when it comes to developing a FinTech app.
If you want to make a financial literacy app for kids but don’t know where to start, contact Mobindustry for a free consultation.