Existing Starling customers can set up Kite in minutes, without leaving home. All you need is the Starling app and an internet connection. Simply go to the Spaces section of the app, where you can set money aside as savings, and select ‘New Space’ followed by ‘Child Card Space’.
The debit card should arrive within three to five working days and when the adult has activated it and topped up the Space, the child can start using it straight away. Kite costs £2 per month per card, and the card is in the child’s name, not the parent’s.
Contactless payments for kids
John says: “She first used her card after her school asked for donations to local food banks as part of a harvest project. She wanted to buy £10 worth of items from the supermarket and added things up as she went round, putting things in her basket to donate to the food bank.”
Actively supporting charities is a big part of the Hibbs’ day-to-day life. John runs the ‘Hibbs Lupus Trust’ with his sister, to support those with Lupus, a chronic and currently incurable illness of the immune system.
“When we came to the checkout, she paid using contactless on her Starling Kite card and I explained to her why, with the coronavirus, it was good to use contactless. I then got the notification through on my phone, which I showed her.”
Every time your child spends money, the adult who set Kite up receives a notification. If Kite is connected to your Starling joint account, both account owners receive notifications, which can prompt conversations about money. “At every step, we try to involve and guide her so she can learn about money. The earlier you start, the better.”
Pocket money on auto-pilot
Gareth Thomas, a single foster parent, chose Kite so that he could organise pocket money through one seamless app. “One of my big challenges was finding a product that would work for all three of my kids - some products were for 11+, others would work for a 13-year-old but not a seven-year-old, some were for much younger kids. I didn’t want to have multiple accounts in multiple places.”
Kite is a great solution for Gareth, 35, and his kids. “I got my head around Kite very quickly - it just works,” he says. “Until Starling Kite, pocket money has been tricky to manage. I tend not to use cash. For Birthday and Christmas money they received, I’d give each a ziplock bag and put it somewhere safe. But the problem with that, is that it was out of reach, so hard to visualise.”
With Kite, it’s easy to see your balance and manage pocket money. “Everything with my finances is relatively automated, including Kite. Once a week, half their age (in money) is transferred into each Space. Pocket money shouldn’t be an admin hassle, it should be about kids learning about money.”