Thousands of families across Australia are set to try out Kit, a new CommBank-supported money app that could revolutionise how kids learn to earn, save, spend, and manage money, in the digital economy.

The app has been launched today as a trial by x15ventures (CommBank’s venture arm), as new research highlights the increasing difficulties parents face as kids grow up using digital devices and the use of cash is declining rapidly.

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Yish Koh, Managing Director of Kit, said: “Kid’s experience with money is very different to what it was fifteen, ten or even five years ago. Parents are struggling to help their children learn and practice good money habits as they are bombarded with in-app purchases, gaming related offers and crafted enticements on a daily basis.”

Fresh research from YouGov, commissioned by Kit, found that despite 72% of parents being concerned about the influence of online games on their children’s attitudes to money, almost half (48%) avoid discussing money with their children.

As digital spending has become easier, almost half (49%) of parents claim their children have spent their money without their knowledge or permission. These parents say kids have spent an average of $179.31 – with 22% racking up between $200 and $499 over the years.  Thirty-three per cent of parents say their children have taken money from their wallet but 41% say their kids have used their parent’s credit card or pre-supplied bank details for online shopping and 37% say the stolen funds have been spent on in-game credits.

Koh continues: “It’s so important we encourage healthy money conversations. That’s why we’ve made the Kit app highly interactive. Our in-app character is there as much to entertain, as educate, with fun facts and even jokes to give kids a laugh and to encourage them to engage with their parents.”

Kit seeks thousands of families to trial new money app

Available in trial mode to 5,000 people living in Australia from today, Kit is designed to help families have healthy and stress-free money conversations.

Koh continues: “They say kids grow up fast, but the world of money and commerce is changing faster, so Kit’s designed to ensure kids and their parents can continue to keep up. We take an evidence-based approach to money lessons and the impact of Kit will be measured in much more than just pocket money saved."

Kit is an ‘earning-and-learning’ money app with a mission to help school aged kids build their financial capability through fun, experiential learning.  With their own Kit account and prepaid card, kids can earn money on ‘PayDay’ linked to chores being completed and create customisable savings ‘Stacks’ with an animated water level that rises as they reach their goal.  Kids can access their money through an ATM and tap their card to make purchases.  And in Boss Mode, parents have access to customisable controls, such as spend limits, merchant blocks, and card and pin protection, which can be tailored to each child in the family.

Unique evidence and measurement-based approach to teaching financial capability

Kit’s core app features have been inspired by the latest research and evidence on positive financial behaviours.

Lead researcher from the Behavioural Insights Team, Dr Bowen Fung, said: “One of the key drivers of children’s financial capability is financial socialisation, which basically means learning about money through conversations with family and other adult role models. So, it’s important for Kit to have tools and features that make it easy for parents and carers to talk with their children about money in an engaging way."

The in-app Kit character is a friendly sidekick that teaches kids through just-in-time ‘nudges’ providing teachable moments for kids and parents to connect. For example, if a child removes funds from their savings stack, Kit will provide a prompt or “nudge” to remind them of the impact this will have on them achieving their savings goals.

Kit has been developed in collaboration with external, independent experts, including advice from an Advisory Panel that brings experience across financial capability, youth mental health and wellbeing, and digital services for children and families. The app also uses an EY framework designed to measure financial capabilities in children of various ages.

Youth Financial Capability Professional Dr Emily Heath said: “There is a big difference between knowing something in theory and applying that knowledge to make confident, informed, and good decisions. Real-world experience is a driver of financial capability and providing young people with opportunities to practice financial decision making is key to building their skills.”

Koh continues, “The trial is about assessing what parents and kids will like, how they will use Kit, and how effective it will be in practical day-to-day situations, including the growing world of online spending and activity. It’s very much a co-design project to ensure it hits the mark.”

Kit commits to report on the impact of the app in building financial capability of kids in Australia. Kit will use anonymised data captured on users’ money behaviours from within the app, combined with regular qualitative and quantitative studies with kids and their grown-ups to measure impact of use over time.

Be one of the first 5,000 Australians to trial the app for free by signing up to Beta at www.heykit.com.au.

Notes to editor

Definition of financial literacy and financial capability:

Financial literacy is the knowledge and understanding of financial terms and concepts, but financial capability is much broader. For instance, a child who is financially capable doesn’t just understand financial terms but can also talk about money in a confident and constructive way, make informed decisions about money and is confident in their ability to learn and apply financial skills. Source: EY Financial Capability Outcomes Framework

About Kit

Launched in Beta in May 2022, Kit is the latest venture from x15ventures, CommBank’s venture-scaling entity. Kit is an ‘earning and learning’ money app, that helps school aged kids build financial capability through fun, evidence-based and experiential learning.  Nifty nudges and kid-friendly explainers are delivered by Kit – a friendly, in app sidekick, who helps make money, make sense. Get savvy and do big things. With Kit. 

Find out more at www.heykit.com.au

About the EY Financial Capability Outcomes Framework

Commissioned by CommBank, this framework draws on other established financial capability frameworks and research into the financial needs of young people.  Kit has prioritised 4 key outcomes from this framework which the Kit app has a clear ability to influence, e.g. Plan for the future: can set and meet saving and financial goals.

About the Kit Advisory Panel

We have developed Kit with advice from an Advisory Panel that brings experience across financial capability, youth mental health and wellbeing, and digital services for children and families. They advise us on how to ensure Kit is developmentally appropriate and ethically designed. For more information on members of our advisory panel and their experience, visit heykit.com.au

About x15ventures

x15ventures is a venture-scaler, designed to bring to life the next generation of digital solutions. Launched in early 2020 and wholly owned by CBA, x15ventures supports experienced entrepreneurs, providing guidance and access to the customer base and distribution networks of Australia’s leading bank. With 10 ventures already part of its portfolio, this new way of actively partnering with the innovation and tech community is re-shaping banking as we know it. For information, visit: www.x15ventures.com.au.

About CommBank

The Commonwealth Bank (ASX:CBA) is one of Australia’s leading providers of personal banking, business and institutional banking and share broking services. With more than 15 million customers and a history spanning more than a century, the Group’s purpose is to build a brighter future for all. The Commonwealth Bank is Australia’s leader in digital banking and maintains the largest branch network across the country. Headquartered in Sydney, Australia, the Bank operates brands including Bankwest in Australia and ASB in New Zealand. For more information on Commonwealth Bank, visit www.commbank.com.au.

Kit is a brand of CBA New Digital Businesses Pty Ltd ABN 38 633 072 830 trading as HEY KIT. CBA New Digital Businesses Pty Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 (CBA). CBA New Digital Businesses Pty Ltd is not an Authorised Deposit-taking Institution for the purposes of the Banking Act 1959 and its obligations do not represent deposits or other liabilities of CBA. Any information provided is general only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs and you should seek financial advice based upon your own circumstances before making any financial decisions.  Please also ensure you read and consider the Product Disclosure Statement (which you agree to be provided through this link) or detailed terms and conditions about our app and the services, Privacy Policy, Financial Services Guide and other important legal documents before making any decision about the product. The Target Market Determination is also available here. Fees and charges may apply.