Following my recent Bank of Tween post, I expressed our interest in debit card facilities for the 10+ age group to address the growing financial needs of the Not Just the 3 of Us family. I also mentioned that I had my eye on what the goHenry card had to offer.
goHenry is a name that I have seen popping up on my timeline for some time now and I wanted to test the ability of this card and App to bring some relief to the Bank of Mum and Dad and help us share the load.
goHenry is a Pre-paid, Pocket Money Card and App with unique parental controls, for young people aged 6 to 18. goHenry is designed for children in collaboration with Visa and has a monthly membership fee of £2.49 per child.
I have talked of our desire to introduce a fair pocket money system and this, of course, times perfectly with the independence that goes hand in hand with our daughters transition to secondary school in the autumn.
The most important thing for us was that there was actually a benefit to having a card with an App such as this versus the usual high street debit cards. The management App facility needed to meet our needs otherwise there would be no benefit to paying the monthly fee. Equally it needed to be versatile enough to reflect what we are actually trying to do and not just playing shops with a fancy App.
In order to promote independence and encourage our girl to start taking a little responsibility and ownership for her pocket money, we decided to contact goHenry and put the card to the test.
The first step is to get the kids to buy into the ideas (pardon the pun). Usually the mention of money to children of this age does the trick in getting their attention but what I thought was particularly clever with this card was that fact that goHenry offer the facility to have a personalised card. For us, the pug was always going to be a draw and having your name on it – well what can I say! A personalised costs £4.99.
As part of the goHenry card and App, money is transferred by the parent to the child’s account and the spending and activity can be controlled and managed by the parent through the App.
And the best bit? There is also an area to add tasks encouraging CHORES!! goHenry! goHenry!!
As the parent, you are able to see both the parent and the child account. Further, the parent is notified via the App when any activity takes place on the card – withdrawals, purchases, deposits and when a task has been completed. You will also be alerted to the fact that you need to top up the card and when you owe money for tasks completed. The chores were always going to come at a price!
Here is an example of how each account can be viewed by then parent.
We had a good fiddle around with the settings and allowances so that we understood how they could work for us. Also you have to bear in mind that you can’t draw out less than £10 from a cash machine now. So there is no point setting a weekly limit of £5!
Obviously, for a 10 year old, the first and most important thing above all else (including money) is putting a photo of themselves on the App. Whilst the parents navigate getting ‘Apped’ up and each account set up, the child will have accessed every area of the App.
They will be able to negotiate their way around the App with absolutely no problem whatsoever and you will find yourself getting notifications from your child before you have finished the set up!
This is where you can set the ‘chores’ that you want your child to do and the amount they get. Don’t judge us here on our rates or tasks – we were practising!
You will be amazed at the speed at which you get one of these. No shame necessary for this parenting fail!! Just a little hitch in our set-up. It pays to be on top of things though. I have never seen tasks expedited quite so swiftly – especially at 7.12am!! Go Henry!!!
You can also invite others to use the app. For example, I added my husband because he needed to send money to our daughter. And you get a fabulous notification so that you know exactly what is going on.
So What Do Mum & Dad think?
We found the application process to be very straight-forward. The personalisation part also. Less so if the child is by your side trying to decide between a cupcake and a pug! The card also arrived promptly.
Registration and set-up (including the App) is also very user friendly. As part of the set up, you have the opportunity to personalise how much you will put into the account and set the spending amounts, controls and tasks. You can continue to adapt this according to your needs.
I like that we are able to introduce going to the cashpoint. This is something our children need to get used to. I also like that we are notified immediately a transaction takes place.
The card is also contactless – another one for our children to get used to. There is also the usual pin facility for purchases. Again, you have the safety of knowing that you have set limits for these transactions and immediate notifications.
There is also the spending online scenario and having a card teaches children how to get used to doing this safely. It is worth mentioning here that as part of the parent account, you can choose where spending takes place. You are also safe in the knowledge that there are spending limits on all of these options – alongside parent notifications.
The saving facility allows the child to budget and put money aside. This is where the lesson of shortfall becomes a reality. There is no easy way to learn this. The sooner the better! My purse is testament to many shortfall issues.
As a family we tend to do things monthly and the goHenry App is currently set to a weekly option. We would prefer it to be a monthly option and I understand that goHenry are hoping to offer this option in the future.
So having put the card through its paces, it is the start we needed to get things moving with money and independence. It works for us and ticks all of our boxes in terms of safety and set up requirements from a parenting perspective. The younger member of the family is also pretty chuffed with the arrival of this card!
My further recommendations would be that goHenry introduce a parent dance for when the ‘task completed’ notification comes in. I’d be more than happy to demonstrate mine!! I think I probably speak for every parent in saying that having the dishwater emptied at 7.12am can only be a good start to the day.
And last but not least, goHenry is offering a free personalised card (value £4.99) for anyone signing up by clicking on the penguin picture below.
This is a collaborative post but all comments and opinions are my own. You can rest assured that any product review that takes place in the Not Just The 3 of Us household is fully road tested. A small fee will be received by us for anyone that chooses to order a personalised card via the above link.