Forget the Piggy Bank

New Banking Apps Meeting Our Children Where They Are

As a teenager, I started out stuffing all of the money I earned from my part-time jobs into a very plump piggy bank. Occasionally, I would pour out the contents onto my bed so I could count how my earnings had grown. Eventually, I opened my own checking account, and I would drive to the bank to deposit my paychecks. While there, I would check my account balance against my check register.

As an adult and now a banker myself, I have several customers who have established checking accounts for their teenage children. Like me, these teenagers are working hard to watch their balances increase. Unlike me, they don’t have to count wrinkled cash from a piggy bank or drive to the bank to deposit their checks. These young people are mindful of their money, but they are using smartphones to deposit checks and mobile apps to move their money and watch it grow.

According to the research firm Influence Central, the average age for a child to get their first smartphone is 10. Almost 93 percent of 12- to -17-year-olds will use smartphones by 2020, according to eMarketer. Back in the day, feeding the piggy bank was the way many kids learned how to save money. In today's high-tech world, savings lessons are increasingly learned through mobile banking apps on smartphones. This is a good thing. Our technology is meeting our children where they are.

At Republic, we have deposit accounts that can help your teenagers learn the importance of managing money, while they also enjoy all of the perks of technology through our mobile app and digital products like Mobile e-Deposit, Person-to-Person Payments, and our My Finance budgeting tool.

Our mobile banking technology is your parenting tool to teach the young people in your life the basics of personal financial responsibility.  Goal setting and distinguishing between wants and needs are just a few of the gems that come out of these teaching opportunities. Using technology that resonates with them keeps conversations about successful money management relevant to today’s digital natives.  

Joshua Hinkle is vice president of Republic Bank & Trust.

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