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Canvas prepaid debit card review

Cashless household expense management for kids and domestic helpers.

Designed for families and their household dependents (e.g. kids and domestic workers), Canvas is a one-stop solution for household finance management. Learn how Canvas works and if it suits your needs in this review.

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S$2.99

Monthly fee

Details

Product NameCanvas Pre-paid Visa Card and App
Monthly feeS$2.99
Card deliveryUp to 8 business days
Supported CurrenciesSGD
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How Canvas works

Canvas is a Singapore-based mobile payments firm that offers a digital pocket money and family finance app, accompanied by a prepaid Visa card.

With the Canvas app, parents and employers can enjoy full transparency over their household expenses and avoid making frequent cash-heavy trips to the ATM. For instance, employers can now load funds directly onto a Canvas Visa card instead of passing cash to domestic helpers, providing them with independence and choice over everyday household expenditure (e.g. groceries and supplies).

Through Canvas, parents can enjoy full access to their children’s expenses and help them make age-appropriate online transactions. It can also help instil financial literacy and the responsibility of owning a debit card in children.

Key features

  • Free trial. Enjoy a 30-day trial upon registration. Thereafter, it’ll cost $2.99/month for each card
  • Convenient household finance management. Go cashless and provide your children and domestic helpers with allowances directly on the Canvas app and card.
  • Widely accepted. The Canvas card is accepted at all Visa-enabled retail and online merchants. Do note that Visa exchange rates will apply for overseas purchases.
  • Track expenses. The Canvas app offers complete visibility and live alerts for any transactions charged on the cards.
  • Full control. Reload funds, add cardholders, lock or cancel the card within a few taps in the app.

Fees and limits

  • Monthly subscription fee. Canvas is free for the first 30 days upon card activation. Thereafter, it’ll cost S$2.99/month for each card
  • Balance reload fee. While the first S$400 top-ups are free, there’ll be a 1% fee for subsequent top-ups.
  • Card replacement fee. There’ll be a S$15 replacement fee if your Canvas card is lost, stolen or damaged.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Easy to use. The Canvas app is user-friendly and easy to navigate.
  • Contactless payments. The Canvas card can be used online or cashless payments in-store with Visa PayWave.
  • Instant top-ups. Enjoy secure, hassle-free and instantaneous top-ups within a few taps.
  • Competitive pricing. After the 30-days free trial, Canvas only charge a nominal monthly subscription fee of S$2.99/month for each card.

Cons

  • Limited features. The Canvas app does not come with most of the advanced features offered by other digital wallet apps, such as multiple sub-accounts for various saving goals or multi-currency support.
  • No interest. This account doesn’t earn any interest, so it’s not ideal for those who need a savings account.
  • Balance reload fee. It’ll cost 1% to reload amounts exceeding the monthly fee-free limit of S$400.
  • Maximum balance. A Canvas card can only hold up to S$1,000 at any one time.

The verdict

With the Canvas prepaid card and app, managing household expenses is now a lot simpler and transparent. Instead of making extra trips to the ATM and disburse cash to your kids and domestic helpers, you can now provide them with a convenient, digital alternative to spend independently, responsibly and securely. Moreover, Canvas offer a 30-day free trial after card activation, before charging a nominal monthly subscription fee.

Before signing up for a Canvas account, make sure to compare all the other options available in the market to find one with features that are most suited to your needs.

How to sign up

Signing up for a Canvas account is free and may be done in less than 5 minutes.

To get started, simply download the Canvas App on your smartphone (available on both the App Store and Google Play) and follow the step-by-step instructions:

  1. Register for an account and create your profile
  2. Select the number of cards you need and input your cardholder details.
  3. Save your payment details (you’ll be entitled to a 30-day free trial before being charged a monthly subscription)
  4. You’ll receive your cards within 10 days after placing your order.
  5. Ensure that your cardholders have downloaded the app on their phones
  6. Upon receiving the ordered cards, make sure to complete the one-click activation within the app
  7. After activation, you may start loading funds and use the cards

If you’re a parent/employer, all you’ll need for sign-up is your My info log in or your NRIC for identification and security purposes. There won’t be any documents required if you’re a child.

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