UAE digital banking app YAP has launched an initiative to train youngsters in financial literacy by giving children as young as 10 access to their own banking and payment rewards program.
Dubai-based fintech YAP, a neobank driving digital banking in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia, is rolling out child-specific banking accounts to give youngsters and teens financial tools.
Adult YAP users can create sub-accounts for their children, who can have their own cards and start banking themselves.
The children-friendly banking service is part of a series of features YAP is rolling out to create an easier digital banking experience. Launched in early 2021, YAP is now gaining hundreds of new users per day.
There are different banking products for youngsters, said Marwan Hachem, CEO and founder of YAP.
One is aimed at children under the age of 13, and another serves the 13-18 age group.
“We are targeting everyone under the age of 18, because after the age of 18, they would be eligible for a normal bank account,” said Hachem. “The parents would be app users who would go ahead and subscribe to a sub-account for them, but the child will feel like they have their own app with their own card and start banking in themselves.
“There are three main areas that we wanted to tackle at first when it came to the youth product,” Hachem explained. “First of all, the basic one of being able to get money to the child directly, so payments can happen from the parent to the child, with what we call ‘allowances.’
“Second, they will have an earning capability with what we call ‘missions.’ So, it's kind of like giving you the option to complete a chore. The children can accept it and be able to earn that tender as a third aspect,” he said.
“We will also allow the children to create savings and start moving those allowances and earn money into the saving parts and have access to the money once they’ve reached their goal,” Hachem said.
Katral-Nada Hassan, head of product experience and innovation at YAP, said the services will help to tackle financial illiteracy among children.
“If they have their own banking platform, we can start educating them on earning and saving money,” she said.
YAP is also developing a financial learning program for children, teaching them about stocks, shares, and cryptocurrencies.
YAP, which currently has 50,000 users and 1,000 small and medium-sized enterprises on board, plans to be in eight countries by the end of 2023, including Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Morocco.
The app offers a suite of features such as analytics and budget tools, card controls, easy money transfers, real-time notifications of purchase, virtual cards, and an extensive database of resources.
YAP partners with banks in various regions to provide international bank account number (IBAN) and, for bank cards, bank identification number (BIN) sponsorship for users. The application is available for iOS and Android.