South African company Soulstice has developed a mobile application which allows parents to deposit their child’s allowance into a ‘Fliptin’ account, allowing children to transact, save and learn through their mobiles.
With Fliptin, children can manage their accounts from their phones, deciding how they want to spend and save their money and get rewarded on specific goals, whilst parents maintain access to the account.
The app – recently shortlisted for the ‘Best Mobile Money Deployment in Africa Award’ in the Mobile Money and Digital Payments Awards 2013 – looks to make budgeting a real-life experience for children, allowing them to manage their finances through mobiles and helping them develop financial management skills.
Mustapha Zaouini, chief executive officer (CEO) of Soulstice, said the app was unique in that it was aimed primarily at children.
“Almost all e-wallet/mobile money services are aimed at adults, yet children are also transacting everyday – whether buying small items such as snacks,cinema tickets to larger purchases such as shoes and games,” he said. “And since we are living in an age of ‘digital natives’, children who are
growing up with mobile and smart devices, it only makes sense that they be able to put their pocket money in a mobile wallet, to save there and also spend from there.”
Zaouini said the children were today growing up in an increasingly cashless society, and that the sooner they engaged with their money electronically the better. He said Fliptin provides an “electronic piggy bank”, providing children with autonomy while allowing parents to supervise their children’s spending.
“Learning how to manage your finances, avoid debt, set goals and make decisions which create wealth starts when you’re young,” he said.
“The child psychologist on the Fliptin team suggests that children as young as four should start to learn about money so that they are able to foster discipline, make money mistakes early in life and overcome responses such as impulse buying, which many adults struggle with, because they never mastered their self control when it comes to spending.
“Children learn best when engaging in fun activity, and we believe that Fliptin gives a real-life experience of how money management works in an engaging manner, but with the added advantage of parental supervision.”
Fliptin has a separate savings pocket built into each account, prompting children to save up for something, and allowing them to think about how they use their existing funds to achieve longer term goals.
“Our account summaries also give them a real-time report of how they are spending, and this tracking mechanism reinforces the awareness of making sound decisions everyday – lessons which carry through to adulthood,” said Zaouini.
The application is available for free download on iOS and Android.