child holding a piggy bank: opening a standard bank sum1 bank account for a child

I’ll be honest: I’ve intentionally put off teaching my daughter about money because it’s such a big and important topic to tackle, and I just haven’t known where to start.

Children aren’t commonly taught financial literacy at school so, parents, we need to take the lead here. But how do you explain sometimes complex financial concepts in a way that children can easily understand and – even more importantly – so that they take an active interest? Well, for me, the answer seemed simple: I’d teach my daughter the basics of saving and budgeting by opening a bank account for her.

If your eyes widened at the thought of giving a child so much responsibility, don’t worry, mine did too at first. But after researching the options available and the safety measures that could put in place while she got the hang of things, I found a solution I was comfortable with. I’d set up a basic transaction account that I could conveniently link to my own online banking dashboard so I could monitor exactly what was happening.

How do you choose the right bank account for your child?

When I decided to open my daughter’s first bank account I had quite a hefty list of ‘non negotiables’. I’d have to be able to monitor what was going on in the account, she shouldn’t have any credit limit, we had to be able to set a withdrawal limit and it needed to be an affordable account. I’ve banked with Standard Bank since 2002 so my research led me to a Standard Bank (sum)1 account.

child holding a piggy bank: opening a standard bank sum1 bank account for a child

Who is the Standard Bank (sum)1 account for?

It’s an account that specifically caters for anyone under 16, and they’ll get their own PIN-enabled bank card (it’s worth mentioning that it’s actually really cute… pic below as proof). It’s a basic transaction account that offers a safe and simple way to introduce a minor to the world of managing their own finances – and the responsibility that comes along with it.

sum1 standard bank account card

Benefits: why choose a Standard Bank (sum)1 account?

Here’s a no frills, no fuss account that gives you loads of practical day-to-day benefits – in fact, it’s marketed as a ‘product designed for those starting out’.

  • There are no monthly fees (yes, really!)
  • No monthly income requirements
  • No minimum balance required to open the account
  • Unlimited free swipes at till points (although you can disable this function if you’d prefer)
  • 10 free electronic debit transactions a month
  • Free cash withdrawals at Standard Bank ATMs (up to a value of R1 000)
  • Free cash deposits at Standard Bank ATMs (up to R1 500)
  • Free balance enquiries on your phone *This can be set up to go to a parent’s phone
  • Free Standard Bank ATM cash withdrawals (up to R1 000 – thereafter you’ll pay R7,50 per R1 000)

Remember that a (sum)1 account is a transactional account so don’t expect to earn interest – if you want to teach your child about savings and earning interest then consider opening an additional PureSave account or TaxFree Call Investment account.

What documents you need in order to open a (sum)1 account

I know we’ve been spoilt with everything you can do online these days but you’ll have to go to a Standard Bank branch to do this – you’re opening an account for a minor so it can’t be done online. You’ll need to take these documents along with you:

  • The minor’s birth certificate
  • The parent or guardian’s ID book or card
  • Proof of residence for the parent or guardian (this shouldn’t be older than 3 months)

My experience of opening a (sum)1 account at Standard Bank 

I found the process quite slick and efficient. Because everything you need to know is so clearly listed on the Standard Bank website (click HERE to find out more about the (sum)1 account) I had all the necessary documents ready and had done my research on the benefits and drawbacks of the account I was opening.

I spent around an hour with a consultant and left with the paperwork signed, the account open and my daughter’s new bank card. Plus, the consultant linked the account to my online banking dashboard, which makes monitoring account activity so much easier.

From here, my daughter’s pocket money will be deposited into the account and she’ll be responsible for looking after her own bank card. It’s a big responsibility but I feel secure in the safety and management features offered by this specific account, and I love that she will have a safety net while she navigates the world of finance for the first time.

And what happens when my daughter turns 16 and no longer qualifies for the (sum)1 account? Well, then it’s recommended that we move her over to an equally convenient and affordable Standard Bank MyMo Account, which costs an incredible R4.95 a month!

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