Fears that card usage stunts kids’ financial development

16 February 2018

Many parents are letting their children use their credit and debit cards, despite fears that spending on plastic means kids are not learning the value of money.

A survey by insurer Prudential found that nearly a quarter (23%) of primary school age children have used their parents’ credit or debit card to make a purchase.

It also found that 18% of those surveyed know the PINs of their parents’ credit and debit cards, which could pose security problems if they were to tell others.

There are also concerns that the use of contactless cards means children are not learning the value of money.

The survey found that over three quarters (78%) of teachers and more than a third (37%) of parents believe the growing cashless society is harmful to a child’s financial development.

Specific concerns raised by parents include the fact their children will think money is instantly accessible and that there will always be money available.

However, children themselves still prefer to receive their pocket money in coins and notes, with nearly nine in 10 (87%) primary school kids wanting to spend in cash rather than on card.

Jane Rawnsley, group head of corporate responsibility at Prudential, says: “The survey suggests that the way children use and understand money is changing very fast.

“It’s important that parents and teachers are given the tools to ensure that the opportunities created by digital payment technology are accompanied by an understanding of the responsibilities that come with it.”

Moneywise runs an annual Personal Finance Teacher of the Year competition to try to encourage the teaching of the subject in schools. This year, school can win a share of £12,500 – enter now.  

Parental concerns about children using contactless cards

Below is the full list of parental concerns over children using contactless cards:

  • 37% think money is instantly accessible
  • 37% say it doesn’t teach them about the value of money
  • 37% say it makes them think there is always money available
  • 34% think they don’t teach them how to use cash
  • 28% think it encourages them to spend more money
  • 28% say cards don’t help kids develop their mental arithmetic as well as handling cash would 

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