Spiderman fans may be familiar with the mantra: “With great power comes great responsibility." And that's certainly an applicable lesson to impart when it comes to kid's debit cards. Giving a child their own debit card might seem scary at first, but if you arm them with the knowledge to make smart choices, it can be a great tool for shaping their financial foundation.
Before you get into spending and saving strategies, though, the first thing to teach about a children's debit card is money safety. After all, hackers and fraudsters are always looking for easy targets, so you want to make sure your kids know how to safeguard their accounts.
Here are some of the key money safety lessons you should go over when giving your kid their own debit card.
It's not OK to share with friends
Though “sharing is caring" is true in most cases, your kids should know that it's never a good idea to share their PIN with friends or lend out their card. While you're at it, don't miss the teachable moment regarding choosing smart passwords.
Protect the physical card
Remind your child to keep their debit card in a safe place at home rather than left lying around. When going out, encourage them to keep the card in a zipped-up pocket or in an interior bag compartment where it can't easily fall out or be taken.
Learn some online shopping ground rules
With constant pop-up ads and in-app purchase offers, it's important to set some clear guidelines. For example, you might give your child a shortlist of places they are allowed to buy from or subscription services they can sign up for using their card. Or, perhaps the rule is they have to run purchases they make by you first.
Be on the lookout for scammers
If you do allow online shopping, discuss some of the common scams out there. For example, let your child know that if a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is. Show them ways to verify merchants before making a purchase, such as looking for the “https" in a URL. And get them used to typing in a web address rather than clicking a link they see in an email or text (which is sometimes an internet scam that leads to a fake site).
Report lost cards ASAP
Let your child know that if the card is lost or stolen, they won't be in trouble—– but they need to tell you right away. That way, you can contact the account provider and put a block on the account. With GoHenry, you can immediately put a block on the card through the app, and then call up for a free replacement card.
If you think you're ready to introduce a kid's debit card to your child, GoHenry is a safe space for kids to learn by doing, thanks to its family-friendly features. Parents can set controls, track activity, and more. As one mom, Andrea, says, GoHenry is a win-win for all. “[My son] absolutely loves using his own debit card in stores and the parental controls make it so safe. Very handy for family to send him money, too!"