ENABLING CASHLESS POCKET MONEY FOR STUDENTS AT 19 SCHOOLS IN SINGAPORE
POSB Smart Buddy is helping schoolchildren, parents, canteen stallholders and administrators enjoy the convenience and power of digital payment.
Everyday, thousands of school children across Singapore undergo a well-worn practice - receiving pocket money which they then use to buy the meals, snacks and other needed items. This is an important rite of passage that teaches children crucial lessons, such as responsibility, discipline and how to manage money.
As time-honoured as this practice may be, it isn’t without its flaws. For one, pocket money often takes the form of small notes, which parents may struggle to find on short notice.
School administrators spend hours of admin time preparing and distributing coupons for financial assistance schemes. Students on such schemes have to use vouchers in place of cash, creating potential for inadvertent teasing and embarrassment.
The low cost of canteen meals means canteen stallholders also have to cope with tallying up small notes and coins at the end of every day, a laborious and tedious process.
Recognising the potential for cashless technology to meet schoolchildren’s pocket money needs, STYL designed a complete digital payment ecosystem that can be easily implemented in schools around Singapore.
Partnering with DBS, STYL launched POSB Smart Buddy in a pilot programme involving 19 schools across the island.
At the heart of the system lies a popular technology - wearables - which students can use in school. With just a tap, schoolchildren can cashlessly pay for their purchases at the canteen and bookstore. They can also use a dedicated kiosk to check how much is their balance.
Through an accompanying app, parents can perform a number of important tasks. They can pre set their children’s pocket money for the day, monitor their spending and send them emergency money if necessary.
Besides payment data, POSB Smart Buddy also monitors and records health and activity data, which together provide a snapshot of their kids’ spending, savings, eating habits and activity levels at school.
In addition, parents and students, school administrators also benefit. POSB Smart Buddy allows schools to conveniently credit the accounts of students on financial assistance, doing away with the need for vouchers and coupons.
Meanwhile, canteen stall holders and book store staff are empowered with a robust point-of-sale system that allows cashless payments, while enhancing accuracy in sales recording and inventory management.
To date, more than 6,000 students and their families have opted to sign up for POSB Smart Buddy, gaining a more convenient and secure way to manage pocket money, or to benefit from financial assistance schemes.
Additionally, students are learning important money skills in a fun and educational way.
For instance, they are encouraged to build their savings via a gamified stamp-collection activity. More advanced children can also experiment with setting their own money goals, thereby learning higher order skills like budgeting and planning.
Parents, teachers and stallholders are also enjoying numerous benefits, among them easier monitoring and tracking, heightened security, decreased admin paperwork, and shorter queues.
But perhaps the most important advantage of POSB Smart Buddy is the opportunity to prepare children today for the digital, cashless world in which money is invisible, that they will grow up to inherit tomorrow.
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