POSB teaches kids in Singapore to spend wisely

Anuradha Shukla

POSB SmartBuddy Launch ceremony
POSB SmartBuddy Launch ceremony. Credit: POSB Bank.

POSB is helping Singapore kids to save and spend wisely through the launch of the POSB Smart Buddy programme.

Launched in 19 primary schools, this programme uses smartwatches to teach students how to save and spend wisely.

The device helps children track their savings and spending habits digitally. It helps them take an early step towards digital payments and also monitors their activity levels.

The POSB Smart Buddy programme made its pilot a year ago and since then about 6,000 POSB Smart Buddy watches have been issued to students.

"We believe that POSB Smart Buddy represents a paradigm shift for Singapore's education sector -- not only by changing the way students save and spend -- but by creating a digital payment ecosystem within schools," said Jeremy Soo, managing director and head of Consumer Banking Group (Singapore), DBS Bank.


Pre-set daily allowance

The programme allows parents to remotely pre-set their child's daily allowance, send them emergency money, and monitor their kids' spending, savings, eating habits and activity levels.

The POSB also creates a digital payments ecosystem within the school where the school's canteens and bookstores are set up with digital payment terminals.

Students can tap and pay with their POSB Smart Buddy watches. They can leverage the Kiosks that are set up on school grounds to scan their watches so they can instantly check on their remaining allowance for the day.

The programme work with schools and automatically credits students on financial assistance scheme (FAS) with their subsidies and allowances. Replacing the usual coupons or vouchers, the programme provides support discreetly to needy students.

"Developers say financial education is an important objective of the digitisation of parent-to-child pocket money," said Tan Pin Pin vice-principal, Admiralty Primary School. "We think so too. We need to teach kids about invisible money in a cashless society and with the programme, we can prepare them early."