Can a child get an ATM card?

Can a child get an ATM card?

Wondering if your child can get an ATM card? Find out everything you need to know here, from the age they need to be, to what the alternatives are.

Most high street banks offer accounts with ATM debit cards for young people aged 11 to 17 years, though providers such as GoHenry offer prepaid debit cards from age six upwards, enabling more children and young people to access all of the benefits associated with an ATM card from a younger age. If your child is showing sings they're ready for a debit/prepaid debit card, read on.

What is an ATM card?

An ATM card is used to withdraw money from ATMs. Broadly speaking, an ATM card is a chip and pin device that can be used at any available machine. These machines can be found on the high street, in stores, and attached to banks.

What’s the difference between an ATM card and a prepaid debit card?

Prepaid debit cards and ATM cards have a lot in common — they can both be used at ATMs to withdraw money, use chip and pin technology, and can typically also be used to purchase goods in shops and online. Let's compare the two types of cards:

ATM/debit card

  • Linked to a bank current account.
  • Used to withdraw money at an ATM or make purchases online and in-store.
  • Can be linked to your digital wallet (Apple Pay, Google Pay, etc.). It also utilises chip and pin and contactless technology.
  • Spending can be reviewed online or via statements.

Prepaid debit card — such as GoHenry

  • Can be used to withdraw money at an ATM or make purchases online or in-store.
  • Chip and pin, contactless, and digital wallet (Apple Pay) compatible.
  • No overdraft facility.
  • Parental controls such as real-time spend tracking, block/unblock functions, Giftlinks, and paid task allocation through the GoHenry App.

How old do you have to be to get an ATM card?

Most high street banks will issue debit cards to children aged between 11-17 when opening a relevant current account. For children aged 11-15, this will usually need to be done in-branch, with a parent or guardian present. Young people aged 16-17 can either apply online or in branch and don't require an adult's permission to open an account.


Prepaid debit cards, such as GoHenry, are available to children aged six upwards, enabling more children to access the benefits of an ATM card.

What are the alternatives to ATM cards?

There are clear benefits for children accessing ATM cards, but what if there was something even better?


Prepaid debit cards offer all the features of an ATM card but with additional benefits for both parents and young people. The GoHenry card can be used exactly the same way as a bank ATM or debit card. Users can withdraw money at ATMs and purchase items either in-store or online. The key difference lies in GoHenry's additional features, which are designed to promote education, responsibility, confidence, and security:

  • Real-time spending tracking and notifications.
  • No overdraft facility.
  • Money Missions — to develop money skills and independence through bite-sized lessons, quizzes, activities, and award badges.
  • Block/unblock the card easily.
  • Set paid tasks to increase motivation and cultivate a sense of achievement.
  • Easy and secure money transfers and Giftlinks, providing a simple way for friends and relatives to give gifts.
  • Compatible with digital wallets, including Apple Pay.

Sign up today to start your GoHenry journey!
Written by GoHenry Published Mar 1, 2022 ● 4 min read