I remember pocket money from when I was a kid, when my parents would be pay me small amounts of money to do chores around the house, or just generally for being a (mostly) good kid. These days, my kids are a bit young for pocket money, but equally, when they’re ready giving them coins and cash is a bit old fashioned apparently.

Pre-paid debit cards are the new hotness, and ZAAP is one such provider with a new debit Mastercard product to give your kids a taste of financial responsibility, while making it easier to give them pocket money (you don’t need to actually have physical cash) and easier for them to use it (they don’t have to carry cash, either).

ZAAP offers a partner mobile app for use by parents and kids (with different logins, of course) so parents can top up ZAAP accounts for multiple kids from their accounts, monitor spending and so on, and kids can see their ZAAP balance and transaction history, as well as set themselves some savings goals.

Here’s a quick rundown of how it works:

  • Sign up online and select your choice of pre-designed card, custom design or wearable (or a combination of these)
  • Allow three days for your debit cards (and optional wearables) to be sent out
  • Download the app for parents (and optionally for kids if they’ve got mobiles, too). The app is available on iOS and Android
  • Activate the new ZAAP cards in app
  • Set up recurring pocket money top-ups, or make one off payments – the choice is yours

More than just a prepaid debit card, ZAAP offers a range of available card designs, or would-be designers can make their own (shown above). There’s also a $20 wearable band option for kids that don’t carry wallets (or don’t want to) allowing them to easily pay for things on the go with a tap of the wrist.

Parents can set up a new ZAAP account online at https://zaap.com.au.

There are some fees to be mindful of – the full list is online, but here’s the basics of what you need to know:

  • Cards are $9.95, customised cards and wearables are $20. You can bundle them together but there’s not really any savings for doing so.
  • There’s a monthly account fee of $2.00 per child.
  • When you load your parent wallet, you pay a 1.5% fee on credit and debit card reloads. There is no fee when transferring those loaded funds to your children’s cards (i.e. it’s a one time only fee). Unfortunately, it doesn’t look as if bank account (direct debit) reloads are possible, so this fee is there whether you like it or not.

I might give this a try for my kids. Are you interested in products like this?

Price: To be announced
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    Financially challenged

    Those fees make it unworkable. I guess $2 per month being taken OUT of their account will certainly help teach the kids about real life finances, but there are plenty of better options out there.


    $24 per year + they skim 1.5% of the money that goes in. And you may have to pay another 1.5% on outgoing money if the vendor decides to add a credit card fee.

    And what happens to the funds if you stop paying the monthly fee?