Going cashless has just been made easier by the POSB Smart Buddy Watch! As Singapore heads towards being a smart nation where technology is embraced, our children are headed in the same direction! The Digital Smart Watch Aka POSB Smart Buddy Watch allows kids to make purchases, teaches kids to manage their expenses and works as a fitness tracker as well! Launched in 19 Primary schools by POSB, this watch is the next thing in Parenting!
Personally, I am a frequent user of flash pay. Walking up to the cashier and just flashing my credit card, I am able to pay for my purchases seamlessly. Like Uncle Sim (Old Uncle from the Credit card ads), I use flash pay not just with my shopping but with my meals at the local food court as well. It’s SO SIMPLE… as Uncle Sim would say.
The next wave of technology hitting Singapore will allow Primary School kids to do the same! No longer do we need to worry about lost pocket money! Now they can tap and pay at their school canteen and forget about the hassle of handling and losing cash!
But….does one have reservations about this new technology?
Is Going Cashless Good for Kids?
Like every parent who first heard of this nation-wide initiative, I had my reservations when the Smart Watch was first mentioned to me.
I think the first question that we really ask ourselves is…do we really want technology invading every part of our lives. After all, these are kids and we will still want them to first start learning the value of money.
Every Sunday night, we put our children’s pocket money into these pill boxes, which are marked Monday to Sunday. The children have learnt by habit, that they need to go to these boxes to take their pocket money every day (Read more about pocket money allocation)
As they handle the coins (which is important at lower Primary level), they learn about money through their tactile senses. They don’t just feel the different denominations but they feel the weight of their coins! Through this process, they learn what it means to have more or less money! 🙂
Putting money into an electronic watch is definitely a different proposition and the early lessons of handling money may be lost. (However, through careful planning, this can be mitigated).
We can’t Stop Technology!
Whether we like it a not, Parenting does involve technology. As much as I don’t want my kids to play with their tablets, I do pass them the electronic devices when I am in the midst of an important meeting.
Putting our heads into the ground is not going to solve the problem! Instead, we should be pro-active in our Parenting and educate our children about technology!
Parents need to be strategic when we introduce technology to our kids!
For me, I will definitely continue to issue money to my kids on a daily basis, as I know the value of these early lessons of counting ones’ coins and handling “real” money for themselves.
However, there are some days that they do forget to bring their pocket money to school. Currently, when this happens, I just let the kids “starve” during recess time. Call me cruel, but I think my kids will survive the skipping of one mid morning meal especially when they already have had breakfast.
My kids have also learnt to improvise in these situations, and they have asked to borrow money from their teachers or cousins. Sometimes, they are no so thick-skinned and the easier option is just for them go without food.
Faced with this scenario … Parents now have another option with the POSB Smart Buddy Watch. Using NETS, when parents get the watch, the watch will be linked to their POSB accounts. Parents just need to set the amounts the kids are allowed to use every day and viola, they are ready to go!
Advantages of the POSB Smart Buddy Watch
- For that Forgetful Kid!
When the kids forget to bring money to school and they need to eat lunch before a remedial lesson, the POSB Smart Buddy Watch can be a great life-saver!
As the Smart Buddy Watch is accepted in 19 Primary School canteens (and counting), Parents can authorize the watch for payments electronically via their Smart Buddy App. From your office, one just needs to open up your application and authorize your kids to spend at the school canteen.
Therefore, with the control at your fingertips, there is no need for kids to handle big amounts of money, nor the probability of them actually losing the cash. 🙂
2. New Independence with the Smart POSB Buddy Watch
Every growing child loves the independence given to them by the watch. I brought my kids to KFC and to Popular to try out the watch. Check out Nathan’s excitement in using the watch and knowing that he can be like an adult.
As we guide our kids in using their gadgets, we can also teach them to save. POSB allows one to collect saving stamps with digital Smiley Stamps which is one of the Squirrel programs that most of us grew up with. Instead of getting the physical stamps, we can now encourage them to save electronically. The wonders of technology! 🙂
3. I am worried that my kids will lose the watch
No worries mate! The App has a function where one can turn off the flash nets chip in the watch. Just turn it off and spending with the watch stops. The watch also has limits, where one can set on the limits of spending. Therefore, your kid will not be spending hundreds of dollars with their watch.
4. Smart Watch doubles us as a Fitness Tracker
Most Daddies and Mummies wear a fitness tracker and the POSB Smart Buddy Watch does this as well!
As these fitness trackers are expensive and most parents will not buy one for their kids, the POSB watch offers this extra feature to our children. Upon receiving the watches, my children were busy running up and down the house, trying to clock as many steps as possible. Even after 3 weeks, they are still competing to see who has the most steps in a day! 🙂
Closing thoughts about the Smart Watch
I love the fact that the POSB Smart Buddy Watch offers so much more than just being able to make payments at the Canteen.
We can use the watch at any establishment that offers NETS flashpay. Just tap and go. One can also monitor the children’s whereabouts using the in-school locator feature and when they tap onto a bus. I can imagine that in the near future, the kids will be able to pay for their bus and MRT fares via the watch as well.
The watch tells time, tracks their fitness and is also able to help kids track their expenses. As with any gadget, parents just need to be vigilant in explaining the perks of this technology to the kids, while continuing to integrate this new knowledge with the “old school” lessons of counting one’s coins.
If you want your children’s school to implement the Smart watches in their canteen, one can submit the names of their school as well.
Best of all, the watch is given FREE by POSB! Definitely NOT taxing on he family budget!