How does pocket money work in times of card, smartphone and online payments?

According to a recent survey by Yougov, Germany is in the lower ranks in an international comparison when it comes to smartphone payments.

Overall, 12 percent of Germans have paid with their smartphone in the past three months.

However, a differentiated picture emerges when comparing age groups: while only 7 percent of those over 55 make contactless payments with their smartphone, 21 percent of those aged 18 to 24 use this payment option.

Gregory Bruner

Editor in Business.

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Anna Schiller


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So are wallets, piggy banks and the associated 5-euro notes still a contemporary model for teaching children and young people the basics of finance?

Nils Feigenwinter, founder and boss of fintech Bling, is increasingly skeptical.

The 21-year-old, who was already in front of the camera in Switzerland at the age of ten and was allowed to explain his generation to business people at events when he was 13, had to realize in his high school year that his classmates had alarmingly little financial knowledge.

“I myself have learned a lot about the 'learning by doing' approach.

When you found start-ups, you have to learn how to manage money quickly,” says Feigenwinter, who founded his first company, a national school newspaper in Switzerland, at the age of 14.

“My classmates had this experience until they were 18.

years of age often not.

Statistics show that by this age some are already getting into debt!”

One of the start-up investors also agrees with Feigenwinter on this point.

For Verena Pausder, an investor who has already financed several educational start-ups, bling fills a gap left by the state: "Financial education is not taking place enough in German schools." In the past, once a year with his piggy bank to go to the bank.

However, the reality of children's lives is different today, says Pausder.

They pay with their mobile phones and buy virtual goods in video games.

In times of low interest rates, they also have to learn how to invest their pocket money in ETFs, for example.

"This knowledge is part of the society of the future," says the investor.

Education and products have to adapt to this development.

Make financial education accessible to all

Bling was founded on an impulse to encourage families to engage with money as a community.

The concept, for which Feigenwinter has now been able to collect money from the Berlin venture capital fund La Famiglia and prominent investors, is an account solution with a pre-paid card and app.

The account, which runs through Treezor, a subsidiary of the major French bank Société Générale, can be requested and managed by parents.

The account costs EUR 3.49 per month.

If a family cannot afford this, they should contact the start-up.

A trusting solution should then be worked out together.

There is a pre-paid Mastercard card for the account, with which the balance on the account can be used but not overdrawn.

There are also functions of the app to prohibit certain expenses, such as purchases on account or subscriptions.

In addition, task plans can be created, according to which children can be paid for household chores, for example.