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Top 10 Best Bank Accounts For Kids

Date 331addf45bb3516008aff5fb298ee62ac379c2c3a2b3907f5779c303044d921a Dec 4, 2020
Blog category fe5ce5147ae753a2d3756d369ad2708a946a9a272087e636187c73e45c076f93 Kiwisaver
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It’s never too early to start educating your kids about the importance of money! Financial concepts like savings, investment, interest, and credit may be too complex for their young minds, but opening a personal bank account can help them learn from experience. Giving them the responsibility of managing their ‘own money’ is a great opportunity to know the true value of money.

You may be curious to know about how children’s bank accounts work. Can the parent access their kid's money? Can they monitor how their kids spend the money? Are there any banks that really offer designated bank accounts for kids? 

Know more about the best bank accounts for children in New Zealand, and how you can get one for your kids. Read on to learn more.

Which banks offer bank accounts for kids?

Several banks offer specialised bank accounts for kids. Some of the major ones are ANZ, BNZ, ASB, Westpac, and TSB. There are also plenty of smaller and rural banks that offer bank accounts for kids.

Depending on the bank’s terms and conditions, the kid may receive an EFTPOS or debit card. Internet and mobile banking also works just the same, even if it’s a kid’s bank account. However, parents need to teach their kids not to share these banking details, as it may compromise the money in their account.

What are the requirements to open the account?

Ultimately, it depends on the bank. Generally, these documents are needed to open a bank account for your child.

  • IDs (Birth certificate, passport, etc.)
  • Proof of Address (Home’s power bill, internet bill, passport, etc.)
  • IRD Number (To tax the money in the account correctly )

Some banks may require you to fill out an online form before visiting the bank. Other banks may also require an appointment before physically visiting the bank. It’s best to consult your bank of your choice for more specific details.

Can a parent monitor their children’s money in the account?

It depends on the terms and conditions of the bank account. Parents, kids, and banks can generally have four options. These are:

If the child is the sole owner of the account...

If the child is the sole owner of the account, the parent can’t access the money in their child’s account. As this means the account is under your child’s name, it means that the kid is also the owner of the account.

If the parent and the kid are joint account holders...

If the parent and the kid are joint account holders, the parent can access the money in their children’s account. The kid also needs their parent’s approval before withdrawing money in the account. As this means both the parent and the kid are the owners of the account, they’re both the owners of the account.

If the parents are signatories in the account...

If the parents are signatories in the account, they can access their money in the kids’ account. Similarly, their kid needs their permission before withdrawal. Since they’re only signatories, they don’t own the money in the account, but they still have relative control on how the account is managed and operated.

If the account is opened under the kid’s name...

If the account is opened under the kid’s name but with the premise of ownership transfer once they turn legal age, the parent can access the money in the account. As long as they’re still a minor, the kid needs prior permission before withdrawing money from the account. However, the kid has the choice to remove you as the signatory and solely operate the account once they turn legal age.

Best bank accounts for children

Every bank in New Zealand offers specific inclusions, benefits, and access levels in their bank account offerings for kids. Ultimately, it’s up to your agreement as the parent and the child on which bank account to get. However, it’s generally recommended to choose from these ten best bank accounts in NZ for children.

1. The Co-operative Bank Youth Account

The Co-operative Bank has a long history of helping Kiwis of all ages with their financial needs. Their Co-operative Bank Youth Account has one of the most competitive interest rates of 2% for balance up to $4,000. It’s one of the best one currently available in New Zealand.

  • Available card: Kids from age 7 receive EFTPOS, given their parent’s approval
  • Parental Access: Yes, you have the authority to set your child’s access to the account
  • Account balance interest: 2% p.a. on balances up to $4,000. Interest rate of 0.25% p.a. applies for every $1 after $4,000. Interest is calculated daily or monthly.
  • Minimum age: None. Dollar and Sense Account are for ages 0-12; Dosh Account are for ages 13-17
  • App: Yes, available on the App Store (4+/5) and Google Play Store (4.1/5)

2. Heartland Bank Direct Call Savings Account

Heartland Bank has been serving Kiwis for more than 140 years. They’re 100% Kiwi-owned and operated, meaning a true local experience for you. Heartland Bank Direct Call Savings Account is one of the best ones in NZ as it pays above-market interest on savings.

  • Available card: None
  • Parental Access: None
  • Account balance interest: 0.75% p.a. on any balance. Interest is calculated daily or monthly.
  • Minimum age: None. 
  • App: Yes, available on the App Store (4+/5) and Google Play Store (4.3/5)

3. Westpac Youth Account

Westpac has been servicing Kiwis since 1817. Westpac Youth Account is crowned as one of the top bank accounts with the best parental access options. It’s a popular choice among concerned parents because they can easily co-manage the money with their kids.

  • Available card: Kids age 12 receive EFTPOS, given their parent’s approval. Kids age 16 receive Debit Cards. Kids below age 12 can only manage their savings accounts.
  • Parental Access: It has three access tiers
    1. Kids under 12 - Parents have full access control
    2. Kids 12-15 - Parents still have full access, but can give partial access to kids
    3. Kids 16+ - Teens can freely access the bank account but parents can still have access
  • Account balance interest: 0.05% p.a. on the base rate, with 0.45% bonus rate during the last business day of the month.
  • Minimum age: None. 
  • App: Yes, available on the App Store (2.4/5) and Google Play Store (3.5/5)

4. BNZ You Money for Kids

Bank of New Zealand — more commonly known as BNZ — is one of the pioneers when it comes to banking in New Zealand. It integrates technology with financial literacy, so children and parents can easily engage and manage their money with just a few simple clicks.

  • Available card: Kids age 13 receive FlexiDebit Card
  • Parental Access: None
  • Account balance interest: 0% credit interest, with no monthly account fee
  • Minimum age: None. 
  • App: Yes, available on the App Store (3.6/5) and Google Play Store (4.3/5)

5. TSB Youth Account

TSB is one of the oldest local banks in New Zealand, with over 165 years of experience. They’re an award-winning bank, with Consumer NZ People’s Choice Award for Banking on their roster. They have free fees with a fully transactional account for kids age 7 and older.

  • Available card: Parents and kids from age 7 receive EFTPOS. Kids above 7 can be issued an account under their name.
  • Parental Access: It has two access tiers
    1. Parents with kids under 7 have full control
    2. Parents with kids above 7 can give partial control.
  • Account balance interest: 0.25% p.a. Interest is calculated daily or quarterly.
  • Minimum age: None. 
  • App: Yes, available on the App Store (3.4/5) and Google Play Store (3.8/5)

6. ANZ Serious Saver Account

The Australia and New Zealand Bank — commonly known as ANZ — is one of the largest finance companies in the country. ANZ Serious Saver Account aims to help children learn more about saving, managing, and growing their money over time.

  • Available card: Kids age 7-12 receive EFTPOS. Teens age 13-18 get an EFTPOS and Visa Debit Card
  • Parental Access: It has two access tiers
    1. Kids under 7 no full control
    2. Kids above 7 can have partial or full control.
  • Account balance interest: 0.05% p.a.
  • Minimum age: None. 
  • App: Yes, available on the App Store (4.3/5) and Google Play Store (4.5/5)

7. Kiwibank First Saver

Kiwibank may be a young company, but they’ve already made New Zealanders’ lives better with their banking options. Kiwibank First Saver is perfect for kids because they can’t impulsively withdraw money. They always need prior approval from their parents!

  • Available cards: Kids age 10 receive EFTPOS. Kids from age 15 receive Visa Debit Cards.
  • Parental Access: Yes, when withdrawing money
  • Account balance interest: 0.25% p.a. for any balance
  • Minimum age: None. 
  • App: Yes, available on the App Store (3.8/5) and Google Play Store (4.3/5)

8. ASB Headstart Kids’ Bank Account

ASB is dedicated to helping Kiwis of all ages in their financial goals and aspirations. Since founding in 1847, they’ve developed a wide range of banking services, including a bank account for kids! ASB Headstart Kids’ Bank Account aims to teach children about interest, savings, and fees through interactive tools and innovation.

  • Available card: Kids from age 13 receive EFTPOS, given their parent’s consent.
  • Parental Access: Yes, for moving and withdrawing money
  • Account balance interest: 0.15% p.a. for any balance
  • Minimum age: None. 
  • App: Yes, available on the App Store (3.3/5) and Google Play Store (4.5/5)

9. Rabobank PremiumSaver Children’s

Rabobank provides banking services for New Zealanders in rural communities. Rabobank PremiumSaver Children’s are a great for rural Kiwi kids to get started in their financial journey of managing and growing their money.

  • Available card: Kids from age 13 receive EFTPOS, given their parent’s consent.
  • Parental Access: Yes
  • Account balance interest: 0.15% p.a. for balances up to $5,000,000
  • Minimum age: None. 
  • App: Yes, available on the App Store (2.3/5) and Google Play Store (2.6/5)

Read: Early Starters: Banking And Savings Guide For Kids

10. KiwiSaver 

While it’s not exactly a bank, you can start your children’s financial journey through KiwiSaver! You can either enrol your kid separately or get covered for a scheme under your name. Bear in mind that you have to make the contributions and pay fees under the scheme, as there’s no employer to shoulder the costs. The great thing is, KiwiSaver is for a lifetime, meaning that your kid can use the money in the account for a very long time!

A great KiwiSaver can educate them about savings, government contributions, investment, interest, and more! Get a KiwiSaver scheme that matches you and your kids needs, and be wise with how you manage your money.

Compare the best KiwiSaver schemes using glimp’s comparison tool.

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