The move to cashless is coming: could apps help parents ease the transition and teach their kids the value of money? YBI reports.

In December 2018, Australia’s central bank declared cash as niche, signalling the fact we are well on our way to moving towards a cashless society. Think about it for a minute… how often do you pay with cash anymore? The convenience of virtual wallets and tap and go is making cash obsolete for many Australians.

In fact, UNSW economist Richard Holden says if we chose, we could go cashless in as little as three years… “As in ‘there are no banknotes in circulation’ kind of territory,” he told the Sydney Morning Herald.

While this may seem alarming to adults brought up on a steady diet of dollars and cents, for the youngest generation, cash is something rarely used, if not seen. So, how do we teach our kids the value of money when physical notes and coins are a rarity?

Fortunately, the fintechs have the answer.

Mario Hasanakos, co-founder of local startup Spriggy, says before launching the platform – which allows parents to control their kids pocket money via a virtual wallet, assign them chores and pay them straight to a prepaid card – he often wondered how he could help parents teach kids about finance in a fun yet effective manner.

Hasanakos says one of the scariest things he and co-founder Alex saw when working in the finance industry was just how little people understood about how the industry worked. 

“Worse still, just how much certain people and institutions exploited that illiteracy for their own gain,” says Hasanakos. “Seven years in the industry and it was pretty obvious to me that we needed to do something to help the next generation of Australians be better with money.”

Hasanakos believes teaching kids money lessons through pocket money is the first step. But as dollars and cents disappear, Hasanakos and his co-founder realised they needed to take the jars, envelopes and piggybanks of yesteryear, next level. Thus, Spriggy was born.

“We learn best by doing, and it’s the same with money. By allowing kids to manage small amounts of money regularly, they will begin to understand where it comes from and that it’s not an endless supply. They will make mistakes, but that’s how we learn and grow. It’s better to make the mistake at eight, then at 28,” he smiles.

Hasanakos believes families that teach their kids lessons with pocket money are setting up their children with tools for a financially fit future. Pocket money can be used to teach children the difference between needs and wants, that every purchase has an opportunity cost and lets kids learn by doing.

“Pocket money is magical for that, it gives kids an opportunity to learn by doing, make their own choices and their own mistakes along the way.  And learning not to make those mistakes the next time around.

“Ultimately the most important outcome of pocket money is the experience to set them on a positive path.”