17 Dec Engage launches Junior Visa debit card and personal account

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Following on from the successful roll out of the Engage Classic account across 120+ UK credit unions, Contis Group is pleased to announce the launch of the Engage Smartcash Junior account and contactless Visa debit card.

The flagship ‘credit-union-exclusive’ account is available to young savers aged 8 up to 16 when they become a junior member of their credit union.
Smartcash has been designed to help children and teens take control of their finances as well as help credit unions to teach junior members the importance of money management in todays increasingly cash-less society.

Full parental access and monitoring of the child’s online account ensures safe, responsible spending, whilst the ability to send money direct to the credit union encourages the junior member to deposit into their savings account on a regular basis.

Each Smartcash account comes with a contactless Visa debit card, free mobile app, online account and a range of junior rewards and discounts that will save them money on everyday spending as well as high value purchases like games and fashion items.

The future of the credit union movement
Retaining young savers is key to the long term security of the credit union movement. Now credit unions can offer a true alternative to rival the banks and keep hold of their junior members.
“When we conceptualised the Engage programme, one thing that came back from our research was that whilst credit unions were able to recruit junior savers, they had difficulty in retaining them as members once they reached the age of 11 or 12” says Geoff Leech, Managing Director of Engage.

“What we have done with the Smartcash product is provide credit unions with the ability to provide a junior personal account that exceeds anything offered by high street banks to 8 up to 16 year olds”.

He continues, “credit unions are fantastic at looking after their savers, but customer service isn’t always top of the list for junior members. Not only do they want to appear financially independent, they also want discounts, offers and special deals on purchases or ‘treats’, and they want to manage all this using the latest available technology.
”Until recently that kind of banking product was only available from Barclay’s, Nat-West and alike. Now all Engage partner credit unions can provide junior members with an account that will hopefully encourage them to stay and save for years to come”.

Peace of mind for parents and credit unions
Safe spending and controlled purchasing is of paramount importance so the Engage Smartcash account and Debit card has been designed to protect against overspending, or making inappropriate purchases. Account activity can be monitored by parents or the credit union and loading options are restricted. No overdrafts are allowed and daily spending limits and ATM withdrawals are controlled to ensure any frivolous spending is avoided.

Engage has also worked tirelessly to make the account as safe as possible by placing restrictions on inappropriate online activity such as gambling sites.

Money management – it’s all in hand!
Smartcash has made financial management as easy and accessible to junior members as possible with a brand new, full function mobile app that is available for iPhone and Android devices. The app lets the account holder check their balance and make transactions to other Smartcash or Engage accounts, as well as allowing them to transfer money to the credit union for placing in their saving account.

Version two of the Smartcash app is already in development and will include the ability to automatically ring-fence and send savings from their weekly pocket money, wages if they have a part time job or money earned via the cashback rewards scheme.

Other functionality specifically geared around teaching effective money management will be added in the near future.

Shopping is more rewarding with Smartcash
Engage has partnered with some of the UK’s biggest retailers to bring junior members exclusive monthly cashback rewards.
Account holders can earn monthly cashback rewards every time they shop with one of our retail partners. Details of the latest retail rewards are available via the Smartcash App and their online account portal.