Would you give an eight-year-old a debit card?

A new service is offering children between the ages of eight and 16 a Visa debit card. But is this a good idea to help them learn about money or a big risk?

We hear a lot about the coming of the cashless society, with wave and pay stickers, apps that let you ping money to each other and more innovations trumpeting that if cash is king, then the king is dead.

But while children are growing up in this brave new world, they are denied access to it. Unless you have a credit or debit card, you can’t pay for a single MP3.

So what’s the solution? Well one company thinks it’s giving children as young as eight their own debit cards.

Pktmny – which launched this week – offers children between the ages of eight and 16 a contactless prepaid Visa debit card. Parents can personalise the card for their children and set controls on where and how much they can spend on it. You can read more of the details on the “how it works” section of pktmny site.

You can set up a standing order to add money to the card on a weekly or monthly basis, while friends and relatives can also add money to the account. The people behind it also have smartphone apps planned that allow children to see the balance on their cards and parents top this up if needed. It costs £5 to open an account and there’s a £1 monthly charge (that comes from the parent’s account, not the child’s).

The hope is that this will allow children to learn about spending, saving and budgeting – as well as offering them some independence – in the same way traditional pocket money has.

“Children will live in a completely cashless world. Yet they are forced to interact with money in a way even adults have moved on from. It’s time for a dramatic change,” said clinical child psychologist Dr Elizabeth Kilbey.

“By allowing children to start taking control of their money in a safe and secure environment they will be able to grow with money, learn from their mistakes and ultimately understand the value of money.”

But would you trust a child with a card? Let us know below.

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