Banks in Nigeria are competing to outdo each other in winning not just adult but children customers.
And to a good extent, they are making progress. Before now, children were not considered eligible to own bank accounts. But things have changed.
Taking advantage of technology and the mandate to increase financial inclusion in the country, banks now offer parents and guardians the opportunity to operate functional accounts for their children from age zero to the adult age of 18.
Banks say child banking helps the underage learn early to save money and allows parents to save for the future of their wards. Here are the packages banks offer.
Nigeria’s premier bank has packages called KidsFirst and MeFirst. They allow children between the ages of 0-12 years to own accounts.
A KidsFirst account is opened in the child’s name and operated by the parent and guardian with a zero account opening balance.
The account comes with a trendy gift item for the child when the account is opened with a minimum of N10,000. The account is automatically transited to the MeFirst account when the child attains 13.
The MeFirst is owned by teenagers between the ages of 13 and 17. It is designed to help teenagers adopt the culture of financial responsibility and cashless payment as they develop into adulthood.
They have access to desirable and trendy prepaid cards through which parents and guardians can credit weekly and monthly allowance and monetary gifts.
The account holders can also select from five exciting card design options that suit their trendy style.
Access Bank’s children package called Early Saver account is for children below the age of 16. This online account also covers the unborn and can be monitored from anywhere.
According to the bank, the account can be opened in trust for a child by the parent or guardian who will be the primary holder of the account.
The parent and guardian have the responsibility of managing this account until the child attains adulthood.
This account features an opening balance of N1,000 minimum and allows deposits of dividend warrants up to N10,000.
The account comes with clauses one withdrawal per quarter and no card services are allowed on it.
Beneficially, this account allows access to school fees in advance for parents, the account also comes with a free membership to the Early Savers Financial Literacy Club.
There is a free quarterly Early Saver newsletter and ease of saving through standing order instruction. It also includes invitations to exclusive Access Early Savers events.
Zenith Bank’s Children Account (ZECA) is specialised savings account for children between the ages of 0-17.
According to the bank, this account is designed to allow parents and guardians to save in Naira or U.S. dollars for their children’s future and to also teach them about savings from a tender age. This account is designed in two tiers for young children and teens.
Zenith Bank children’s account is for kids from the range of 0-12 while Zenith Bank’s account for teens is from 13 to 17 years.
It has zero account opening balance, an interest rate of 1.15 per cent with a standing order credit option and a cheque, draft and dividend lodgement.
Other features include the invitation to the annual Zenith Children’s parade and participation in the children’s day scholarship raffle draw.
Polaris Rainbow Savings account is an account designed for children between the range of 0-12 years with parents and guardians as the trustees of the account until the child is 18 years of age.
Like others, the account is designed to create banking awareness amongst children in a fun manner from an early age.
According to the bank, the account features an opening balance of N1,000 minimum and a competitive interest on savings.
The account has an automatic migration to Polaris Young Achievers Account at age 13 with SMS, email notification to parents and guardians and a debit card issuance, lodgment of cheques, dividend warrants in the child’s name of up N2 million.
The account also has access to consistent savings with standing instruction from the benefactor account and access to e-channel platforms.
Wema Bank has its variant children account package called Royal Kiddies. This account is designed for children between zero and 12 years of age. According to the bank, this account is operated by the parent or guardian who may or may not have an account with Wema Bank.
The features of the account include a minimum opening balance of N2,000 and a competitive interest rate of 2.15 per cent with limited withdrawals, a withdrawal of one withdrawal per month to qualify for interest payment and lodgement of dividend warrants and cheques in the child’s name is allowed. No debit card would be issued on this account and a royal kiddies e-purse will also be made available on request.
The benefits include the eligibility of the child for the Wema annual educational award, it ensures continuity of the child’s education in case of the death of the parent or guardian. It also allows standing orders for regular savings from parent’s or guardian’s accounts for payment of school fees.
Unity Kids account is a savings account targeted at kids and teenagers below the age of 18. This account offers parents and guardians the opportunity to set aside funds for their children. It attracts interest and converts automatically to major when the child turns 18 years of age. This account also encourages savings and banking habits from childhood.
United Bank for Africa (UBA)
UBA Kiddies is an account designed for children between the ages of 0-12 years while UBA Teens Accounts is between the range of 13-17 years.
Beneficiaries of this account are to earn 13 months reward of 10 per cent of the monthly savings plan for over 12 consecutive months having maintained a standing instruction of a minimum of N5,000. They also have a chance to partake in a scholarship scheme through a raffle draw having maintained a standing instruction of saving a minimum of N10,000 for six months. The account has an annual interest of 1.15 per cent payable monthly.
Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB)
GTB’s Smart Kids Save is a savings account designed for children under 18 years of age. This account is available in two sections: the smart kids (0-12 years) and the smart teen (13 -17 years). The account is designed to create financial awareness in children and it also helps develop smart financial habits for life.
The features for this account include a minimum opening balance of N1,000, a competitive interest rate of 1.15 per cent. It allows lodgements of cheques, drafts and dividends into the account, subject to a maximum of N1,000,000 per instrument.
Periodic lodgements can be made into the account through standing orders and automated direct debits.
Other features include complimentary invite to smart kids fun events and smart kids can be converted into regular savings or current accounts with the young saver as an authorised signatory when the smart kid saver had reached the age of 18.
From 13 years, a smart kids teen account will be opened for the teenager. The account comes with a trendy teen MasterCard issued upon parent’s request to help the child learn how to manage money responsibly.
First City Monument Bank (FCMB)
The FCMB’s children package is called Kids Account. This is a savings account designed for children between 0-17 years. This is a Naira dominated account that encourages healthy savings habits at an early age and money management.
Several features and benefits of this account, according to the bank include an opening balance of N5,000, a non-clearing cheque type withdrawal booklet used for withdrawal by the account holders only.
The account also features a minimum operating balance of N2,000, free e-mail transaction notifications, free birthday cakes, free ATM money box and an opportunity to win N10,000 monthly for 10 years in kids account pocket money promotion.
Fidelity Bank’s children account called SWEETA is an account designed for kids between the ages of 0-17. This account is specially created to encourage a savings culture towards children’s welfare by those responsible for them.
Holders of this special account type are also eligible for a stream of benefits and rewards from Fidelity Bank such as birthday gifts, an unlimited number of withdrawals. The account operates an opening balance of N1,000 monthly, interest payments benefits, quarterly royalty reward scheme in place and issuance of debit cards to the account holders.
Just like other banks, Stanbic IBTC operates a Children Education Daving Scheme (CHESS). This account is available for kids between ages 0-17 years.
This account, according to the bank, helps to manage a child’s savings for educational fees, extra classes or simply learning about money. It has an interest rate of 1 per cent above the average savings account and also a forfeiture of 1 per cent upon more than one withdrawal in a quarter and forfeiture of savings rate if there are more than four withdrawals in a month. This account has a fully digital banking access internet, app and USSD.
Union Bank has two children packages for kids and teens called UnionInfinity account between 0-12 years and UnionLegend accounts age between 13 -18 years. Unlike other accounts, the two packages are designed to cater for the needs of parents who want to save for their children’s future and help improved savings culture among kids.
The UnionInfinity and UnionLegend accounts, according to the bank, offer up to a 3.75 per cent interest rate and they come loaded with lifestyle benefits such as discounts at bookstores, cinemas, game arcades, among others.
Other benefits include rewards when the kids hit their savings targets, loyalty schemes, discount healthcare packages, insurance cover for education, customised debit cards, education and social events and access to a community and financial support for school fees.
Sterling Bank offers a package called I Can Save for kids. This package allows kids to benefit from a cash gift from generous relatives. It is operated by parents and guardians on behalf of minors. According to the banks, the features include the incentive of N250,000 to a beneficiary that scores all A’s in SSCE and Cambridge O’ level in at least 8 subjects at one sitting. It allows judgement of cheques and dividends up to N2 million limit per day, attract interest rates and school fees credit facility among others.
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