School banking programs in Australia
Teach your kids how to save and manage their money through a school banking program.
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For thousands of Australians, their first experience of banking was with a Commonwealth Bank Dollarmites account. These days, most Australian banks have dedicated bank accounts for children, designed to help the younger generation start building a bank balance for the future and learn how to manage their money. However, not all of those banks offer programs with incentives for kids to save.
Children’s banking programs can be a great way for your kids to learn about the importance of money and how to save towards a goal. Some of these programs include the CommBank School Banking program. You can compare kids bank accounts associated with different children’s banking programs below, and learn more about the different children's banking programs in this guide.
Compare kids bank accounts associated with different school banking programs
School banking programs in Australia
While most Australian banks, building societies and credit unions offer kids’ bank accounts and savings accounts, only a few run special programs designed to encourage children to save. These are outlined below.
What's the program?
The dominant player in the kids’ banking world, CommBank’s School Banking program has been teaching kids how to save since 1931. Run in participating primary schools across Australia, the program offers incentives to encourage kids to make regular deposits into a CommBank Youthsaver Account. Children receive a silver token (known as a Dollarmite) every time they make a deposit, and once they've collected 10 tokens they can be exchanged for a variety of toys and games as rewards. The CommBank School Banking program also features a range of other resources, such as classroom activities, online games and puzzles to teach kids about money, and support materials for teachers.
How can I get involved?
You can help your child open a CommBank Youthsaver Account and get involved in this program by:
- Visiting your nearest bank branch
- Applying online via NetBank (for existing customers)
- Filling out a paper application form provided by participating schools
What's the program
Spriggy is a bit different to traditional kids banking programs. It's an app to help Aussie kids manage their money, with a linked prepaid card. This allows parents and kids to manage their money together, and track their transactions and deposits via the user-friendly app, just like a regular bank account. The app is attached to a prepaid Visa card which the child can use to make purchases wherever Visa is accepted.
How can I get involved?
Simply download the Spriggy app, register for an account and set up your login details. You'll then be sent a prepaid debit card for your child in the mail, which you can activate within the app.
Benefits of participating in school banking programs
There are several benefits:
- It teaches them how to save. Saving towards a goal is an important skill for everyone to have, so opening a kids’ bank account will help your child understand just how far their money can go.
- It teaches them how to manage their money. Learning how to budget, when to spend and when to save are important life skills. When a child has their own bank account and can watch the balance rise and fall in line with their saving and spending habits, they can learn how to responsibly manage their money.
- It teaches them about digital money. Rather than giving kids pocket money in the form of notes and coins, putting money into their own bank account will teach them how to manage digital money. This is important as we get closer to becoming a cashless society.
- They can earn interest. Instead of money just sitting in a piggybank at home, funds in a kids’ bank account can earn interest at a high rate. In fact, kids’ bank accounts often have better interest rates than savings accounts for adults.
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