British challenger bank Revolut launches accounts for children

Finance

Revolut, one of Europe’s biggest fintech (financial technology) firms, has launched a “money management” product for children, which can be monitored by parents via the app.

The online-only bank, which currently has more than 10 million users worldwide, announced Wednesday it was launching Revolut Junior, an app aimed at kids between the ages of 7 and 17. The accounts will come with their own bank card for the child to use.

Initially, Revolut Junior will only be available to the children of U.K. Premium and Metal customers – those who pay for the two top-tier accounts offered by the company – before being expanded to the children of customers with free accounts and in other regions.

Accounts will be opened by the parents or legal guardians, who can then manage and monitor their children’s money on the app.

The junior account also gives parents an option to receive notifications when their child spends money, and includes security settings which will enable guardians to control how a card is used – for example, by prohibiting online payments.

“Conversations about money typically start at home and we believe these skills are gained little by little, through experience and with help of parents and guardians,” Aurelien Guichard, product owner for Revolut Junior, said in a press release on Wednesday.

“Revolut Junior grows with kids until they are eligible for a standard 18+ account so that once they are independent, they have the financial skills and literacy to avoid potentially costly mistakes.”

U.K.-based fintech rival Monzo currently allows teenagers aged 16 or 17 to open bank accounts, but has no offering for younger children.

A fundraising round in February raised Revolut’s valuation to $5.5 billion – meaning it’s currently tied with Swedish payments start-up Klarna as the most valuable fintech company in Europe.

Revolut was founded in 2015 and has added features like cryptocurrency trading and savings products to its app over the years in an effort to move into profitability. However, Revolut’s losses doubled in 2018 to £32.8 million ($42.4 million).

CNBC’s Ryan Browne contributed to this article.

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