Rooster Money has been created for NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland and Ulster Bank customers. It's one of the increasing numbers of money management accounts for children. While not a fully-fledged bank account, it does offer parents and grandparents the ability to give children a prepaid debit card. It means it's a good stepping stone for children to begin understanding money - before they have to deal with interest rates or the like as adults.
How does Rooster Money work?
Rooster Money is like a pot of money you can give children or grandchildren from your own account, which you can control through an app. You can give them a prepaid card, too, so they can purchase items out of their own money, but as it's a prepaid card, children can't go into an overdraft. If there are insufficient funds on their card or in their 'pot' (which they can see on an app on their phone), they cannot go into debt. The annual fee and card subscription can vary from free to £19.99 a year, depending on the level of plan you choose.
Features of Rooster Money
NatWest Group has planned Rooster Money well. There are so many features that add up to a fantastic product that will likely grow with you as your child's or grandchild's needs develop with age.
The Rooster prepaid card is backed by Visa, so children can use them in most places that accept card payments. But, as it's prepaid, you can ensure that your grandchild only spends what they (and you) can afford. If they don't have enough money on their cards to buy something or want to take too much money out of an ATM, they won't be able to. It means you have peace of mind knowing they can never overspend.
It’s also good to have as, even though so many payments can be made through a phone these days, you can be confident that if their phone runs out of battery or they lose it, they can still use their card. That can be helpful if they need to get home, for instance, as they can use their card to get the bus or train.
Pocket money app
The Rooster Money app is excellent, and using it is a breeze both for you and your grandchild. That's quite an achievement, given that kids as young as three can use it. It's intuitive to young and old while providing everyone who uses it with the information they need.
Children can see that you've sent their pocket money, while you can keep tabs on whose pocket money you have paid - and when. Plus, the app has a lot of flexibility built into it. For example, you can set up automatic payments to a child's account, which may be a good idea for weekly or monthly allowances. Or, you can manage their payments on an ad-hoc basis.
What's great about the app for kids is that, as they see funds coming from their own 'wallet', they start to consider whether they should really make a purchase or save the funds for a later day. Kids start learning about the opportunity cost of spending money from a young age through a fun, interactive and, ultimately, handy app.
While the app and card give a child a certain amount of freedom, there are still plenty of ways to keep them safe financially - you can set spending limits, for example. These are just one of the parental controls you can use to ensure that your grandchild is not spending too much money. You can also set up a savings pot with savings goals for a child's own money to help encourage healthy money habits. You also get notifications from any children's account linked to your parent account.
As such, the Rooster Money app acts as a virtual money tracker for you. While a child can choose, to a degree, where they spend their money, you get an insight into what they spend their money on - even when you're not with them. In our increasingly online world, it also means you can keep track of your kids' spending to help protect them from fraud.
The older kids get, the more chores we like to give them. Keeping their rooms tidy, taking the dog out for a walk or emptying the dishwasher are all everyday chores we set for kids. Sometimes, the older they get, the savvier they are too. Some may like to charge for completing those chores. Or, you may want to incentivise them by saying you'll pay them to do their tasks regularly without needing to nag them.
With Rooster Money, you can promote good behaviour through the chore tracker, where you can assign a fee which a child can earn for completing a task you set them. It's an excellent way for your child or grandchild to top up their pocket money.
While the app encourages contactless and cash-free account management, they can also take money out at ATMs. It means should your grandchild be in a situation where they need cash they can access it. We use cash less and less these days, but we still need to use it from time to time. Making sure a child can do so is one way you can help keep them safe whilst out without you.
However, they can only take out what's on their card, so they will only be able to take out what you allow. They won't be able to start going into an overdraft! That helps you stay on top of your and their finances.
Advantages of Rooster Money
Having fantastic customer support is a must-have for any financial service. When it comes to helping you run your grandchild's money better, that is most definitely the case - things can sometimes go awry when kids are involved, and you can email firstname.lastname@example.org to contact the company with any queries you may have. The help team quickly gets back to you with valuable and pertinent support.
Peace of mind
The older children get, the more independent they seem to want to be - often at a pace that parents and grandparents don't particularly like. Giving them financial freedom through the Rooster Money app and prepaid card is one way to provide them with independence - but in a way that you can keep a high level of control from a distance. A child feels more respected and responsible as a result, but you have peace of mind that you can give them money in an emergency, even if you are not with them. Plus, you can be confident that your grandchild won't go into debt as there is no overdraft facility.
Rooster Money can be used by those as young as three, with the reward chart being a great way to reinforce positive behaviours. It means you get a head start on encouraging them to have good habits. For example, you can set up a star chart within the pocket money app so that a child can earn stars instead of real money. As a result, they get the feeling of accumulation without using cash as an incentive, which might be difficult for them to understand when they are little.
These apps for kids have become increasingly popular recently because of the ease they provide parents and grandparents. However, a standout feature of Rooster Money is how it improves a child's money management and budgeting skills. Plus, it helps you manage your money better if you don't have to keep track of when you have given your grandchild pocket money. Or it can help as you won't have to keep giving them handouts as they spend whatever hard cash you gave them in seconds.
Is opening a current account with Rooster a good idea?
Rooster Money accounts are a good bet if you are looking for a way to give a child financial freedom without giving them direct access to your account details and sort code. Using the app means you can pay a child their pocket money far more efficiently than ever before through setting up regular payments or simply being able to transfer funds as and when they need. Plus, it gives them more independence through its prepaid card and the ability to make contactless payments.
The app also encourages good financial habits on the part of a child - something that is great to learn from a young age. Knowing the true value of money and how to make it last through proactive budgeting is challenging to teach, but through practical application, kids can learn it more easily. The app offers a convenient and fun way to do that, but all the while, you are in control, ensuring that your grandkids are safe when dealing with money.