Penny drops on pocket money with app launch

The traditional family deal of pocket money for chores is getting a 21st century makeover with Sydney fintech start-up Pennybox asking parents to test a new app to help kids earn money while teaching financial literacy.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Skills and Small business John Barilaro said the app, developed with the assistance of a $25,000 Minimum Viable Product Grant from Jobs for NSW, allows parents and children to propose tasks for agreed pocket money.

“The penny has dropped when it comes to the importance of financial literacy and this Sydney company has made an app that is fun for kids and useful for parents,” he said.

“Each pocket money task can be linked to a lesson on earning saving and spending, with parents and children able to log on to a multi-access system with a PIN-code and receive reports on budgeting and spending patterns. Parents also receive updates on how their children are progressing through the syllabus.”

Barilaro said the app, developed by a former equity analyst, Reji Eapen, and a former Google Education team lead, Adam Naor, was free and did not require a linked bank account.

“When a child completes a task they earn ‘money’ which is shown in the app under a section titled ‘My Wallet’. Children then ‘cash out’ by requesting money directly through the app, which is then given to them in cash by the parents,” he explained.

“Parents can also deduct ‘money’ from their child’s wallet to hold them accountable for things they want to buy. Reji and Adam’s company, which is based at Tyro FinTech Hub in Sydney’s CBD, is a fantastic example of how the NSW Government is helping clever start-ups develop innovative new technology products that can then be taken to the marketplace.

“Minimum Viable Product Grants support promising start-ups with the funds needed to gather customer feedback and test their business model.”

Eapen said the grant will be used to complete the test and launch the app.

“We are grateful to Jobs for NSW for supporting local innovation through this program,” he said. “We will work hard to direct the grant into a solution that serves to close a large gap in financial education.”

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