One thing we’ve learned from countless viewings of Mary Poppins is that when it comes to managing finances, banks like to start ’em young.
To that end, Monzo, a mobile-only bank based in the United Kingdom, has launched a new product targeting teens aged 16 to 18. The bank accounts, and their stylish coral-colored debit cards, come with a few restrictions for minors. The under-18 set can’t wrack up tons of debt (save that for student loans, kiddos!), and aren’t allowed to gamble or pursue other fun activities forbidden to minors.
If they opt to open accounts with Monzo, not only will these future titans of industry have new ways to buy at Top Shop and pay rent to Mom and Dad but the bank will gain more than 1.5 million potential new customers. Considering Monzo’s losses, which the the Financial Times reports have more than quadrupled in the past year, adding more customers to its nearly one million users is definitely important.
While adding new, younger customers will be good for Monzo’s business, the bank is selling the accounts as a learning experience for children. To that end, it won’t charge the youths if they accidentally spend more than they’ve got in their account. “Helping young people learn to manage their money means giving them leeway to make mistakes without clamping down hard,” Monzo wrote. “If someone goes overdrawn, we’ll let them know and ask them to pay it back—but we won’t charge them any money for it.”
In short, opening a new bank account is a good educational opportunity for the children. Just like Mary Poppins always said.