Help and FAQ
Learn more about how to use Bank Kiddo.
Bank Kiddo is a fictitious bank allowing parents to simulate simple banking rules for their kids savings. Parents will act as the "bank of mom and dad" to their kids.
Bank Kiddo doesn't store or setup your account login/password but instead delegates this function to Google or Microsoft. You may use either your Google Gmail account or your Microsoft Office 365 account to login/create an account.
To login/create an account, visit our homepage and click on the login button representing the service you use. If you don't currentlly use either of these services, you can create a free account at the following websites:
There are 3 steps to setting up a family:
- Picking a family name
- Inviting other parents or guardians
- Creating children accounts
A family name is usually just the family last name but it can be something different if your family references itself in a different way.
You invite other parents or guardians to help you manage your children accounts. Other parents or guardians are invited to join the family via their email address. The recipient of an invite must accept the invite. All parents and guardians have the same level of access to managing the family, invites, and children accounts.
You create 1 child account per child and define the rules for how the account will operate. Children can also invited to join the family via their email address. Alternatively parents/guardians can create accounts which children don't have access to directly.
All invited parents, guardians, and children must use either a Google or Microsoft account to login.
Account rules define some automatic transactions that Bank Kiddo will apply to a child's account. These rules are generally simpled versions of what banks already do for real accounts. The rules available are:
- Account fees - At the end of each month, if the account has less than a specified minimum balance, charge a fixed fee. Parents and guardians can define the minimum balance and the fee. The default is 0 in these fields which disables the minimum balance fee.
- Regular deposit - This can be thought of as a direct deposit from, for example, an employer. In the case of a child, it's an allowance. Parents and guardians can specify the amount (in dollars) and the frequency (monthly or weekly). The default is 0 which disables the regular/allowance deposit.
- Interest rates - You can provide an interest rate to pay at the end of each period on the average daily balance in the child's account if they have an average daily balance above zero. If the daily balance drops below zero, you cna provide an overdraft interest rate to charge. We suggest you keep these numbers high on small balances and low on large balances to demonstrate the value of saving and the cost of borrowing. The default values are high.
A strategy to teach children about the value of interest can be: high compounded daily interest rate. This can seem expensive but when the balance is low you can counteract this by providing a lower allowance. As the balance gets very high, you can reduce the interest rate and the compound frequency. The charts come in very handy here since you can visually show your child the growth in the value of their account over time.
For more adventurous children and parents/guardians, you can choose to forgo the interest paid at a fix rate and instead "invest" the account balance in an ETF (Exchange Traded Fund).
ETFs are stock market traded securities which track an overall market index. To learn more about ETFs, this is a good article with links to related terms.
If an account is invested in an ETF, the value of the account will be updated each day based on the change in the price of the chosen ETF. WARNING: the balance can go up or down just like any stock!
Only a select few ETFs are supported by Bank Kiddo today:
If there is an important ETF you really feel I need to add, feel free to let me know.
No transaction fees are charge for investing an account in an ETF.
Some have asked to allow their child to trade any stock through Bank Kiddo. Although this is certainly a great idea for older children, it's quite a large amount of work to implement and I haven't decided to take it on at this time.
Account themes are visual customizations to the account for each child. For example, you can pick a robot theme.
When you pick a theme, the Account page will show an icon (e.g. a robot) and a background colour related to that icon (e.g. green). These customization are intended to make accounts more personal to children and thus more engaging.
You pick account themes during account setup or by editing a child account.
A child can login at anytime and see their current account balance, any transactions, and historic statements for each past month of transactions.
A parent or guardian can login at anytime and see each of their children's accounts, the current account balance, any transactions, and historic statements for each past month of transactions. In addition, parents and guardians can apply transactions utilizing the Add Transaction button in the top right of the screen when viewing a specific account as well as edit the rules of the account. Finally, parents and guardians can add new parents or guardians to help manage the account or add new accounts for children.
Transactions can only be deleted by parents the same day they are entered. This is a limit to avoid miscalculations appearing in the account transaction list (e.g. deleting a transaction may make subsequent interest calculations invalid).
If you'd like to "undo" a transaction that is older, you should enter a new transaction as an "adjustment" which will adjust the current balance of your Child's account. This is similar to how many real-world banks would log adjustments (rather than modifying historic transactions).
Goals are a way to allow children and parent/guardians to set out an objective for the account balance. This is generally used to target a savings amount to purchase something (e.g. $80 for a video game).
Once a goal is reached, the child and parents/guardians will be notified of the accomplishment via email.
Yes. A child can have, for example, a savings and investment account.
To set this up, send an invite to the child to setup their first account through family setup the wizard or by editing an existing account not already assigned to a child. Once the child has accepted the invitation, you can edit the account to give it a more descriptive name. Then return to the family setup wizard and create a another account/repeat the process until you have all the accounts you need.
Users who have access to multiple accounts (parents/guardians of families with multiple accounts or children with multiple accounts) can transfer funds between these accounts by clicking the transfer button at the top of the account list page.
Transfers are typically delayed to prevent "gaming" the system and transferring funds between accounts to take advantage of market returns that change over the course of a day--no day trading allowed. In addition, many banks impose a delay when transferring funds so the delay is an accurate representation of reality for children.
Maybe. I manage this site in my free time and try to add feature which don't impact the overall simplicity of the system for children. If you have an idea, I'm happy to hear it but I can't make any promises about building the feature. Head over to the support us page to send an idea/request.
I'm a tech guy and I like to use my professional skills to solve problems in my personal life. This is a an idea I had for my own family and I figured I'll build it for anyone else to use. It was a bit more work but worth if I can help a few more kids learn about concepts like the time value of money.
Although I'm not doing this for money, there are costs to running this site (servers, my time, graphic assets, etc.) so I certainly appreciate any financial support you send my way. Financial support is by no means a requirement but are a helpful an encouragement for me to keep working on this site and improving it.
If you'd like to support this site, head over to the support us page.
There are no ads on this site and there are no plans to add any ads to the site at this time. If ads do come to this site, it will be to cover the cost of running the site and the ads will not be show to children at all.
In my opinion, this site is as safe any other site on the internet. I do what I can do keep it safe for children but always remember, it's the internet...
My friend Amanda had a great idea of putting something of value (parenting tips) into the footer. I stole that idea and the tips from here. If you have your own tips to share, please send them my way using the feedback form on the support us page.