iKids Tap and Go Devices
iKids Tap and Go Devices

Children ditch cash and turn to payment devices

MORE children are doing away with cash and turning to tap and go options to pay.

Payment devices such as wristbands, smartwatches and even payment rings are among the ways Australians can pay instead of using a card or cash.

Mother Ana Jones said her daughters Amelie, 12, and Charlotte, 14, recently started using a new wristband payment device, dubbed ZAAP, to pay for small purchases.

She said it has allowed both her and her children to monitor payments digitally, and it had made her daughters "more cautious" about their spending.

"It allows them to be able to pay for things when they need them, they can buy things themselves," Mrs Jones said.

"I can also see how much money they are spending."

MORE: Five golden rules for paying children pocket money

The new payment devices, rolled out by firm Zenith Payments, allows children to

use a wearable band to pay or

their own preloaded payment card at the checkout.

But users who sign up are hit with start-up charges including $9.95 for a preloaded card or $20 for the wearable device.

A new payment device called Zaap has been rolled out for children to use.
A new payment device called Zaap has been rolled out for children to use.

There is also a $2 monthly account-keeping fee with each account, which the parent and child can both monitor online using their devices.

ZAAP marketing director Tina Micali said the "days of building up your piggy bank are gone".

"The driver of this product is to provide parents and their kids aged between eight and 18 the tools to help them learn to

become financially responsible and improve financial literacy," she said.

"Parents also have peace of mind because they have an element of control over what their child is spending and where they are spending their money."

Dianne Charman, the founder of Jade Kids Foundation - a not-for-profit organisation helping children make better money choices - said new ways to teach children about money was a

good thing.

"We have to be progressive about our thinking about how we interact with our money and whether these devices help or don't help," she said.

But she said users "should know what the charges are" with any payment option because "it's another expense".

"With a bank account with children they don't normally have fees on them," Ms Charman said.

Similar to other wearable payment devices and contactless cards, ZAAP users are required to enter a PIN at the point of sale for transactions above $99.

Blocks have also been put in place to prevent children from spending in certain categories such as at hotels or liquor stores.

Other popular kids payments include Spriggy, a prepaid debit card which allows kids to spend and save, but it comes with a $30 fee per child per year.

* MoneysaverHQ is trialling a ZAAP card and wearable device.