What is gohenry?gohenry is a financial tool for children aged from 6 to 18 (and for their parents). It consists of:
- A parent account. Parents can access it through an app, use it to top up the child’s account and to apply parental control on children’s spending habits.
- A child account. Children can see their balance and the spending limits you’ve established for them in the app.
- A Visa prepaid card. The card can be used by children to make purchases in shops and online and withdraw cash from ATMs.
gohenry was founded in 2012, “by a group of parents who wanted to help young people learn about money safely”. gohenry has been featured on our best debit cards for kids page.
How does gohenry work?
- Instant notifications. Every time your child uses the card, you get a notification on your own app.
- Custom cards. GoHenry offers a special custom card where you can get the name of your child on the front of the card, for example, goben or gosarah.
- Spending limits. You can decide that your kid isn’t allowed to spend more than £10 a week and the card won’t work beyond that.
- Rewards in return for completed tasks. You can set up the app so that money is paid into the child’s account only if they have cleaned their rooms, done their homework or walked the dog.
- Control over where the card is used. You can block both the online purchases and the ATM withdrawals.
- Transactions from age-restricted exercises are automatically blocked. gohenry won’t allow the card to be used at betting shops, pubs, off-licences, pornography websites and so on. However, don’t forget that alcohol, for example, can be bought at regular grocery stores and gohenry won’t be able to automatically block transitions from shops that also sell other kinds of products.
And that’s the stuff parents will love. Here’s what’s in it for the children:
- Financial independence. They’ll have a “real” bank account, just like mum and dad!
- Personalised cards. The standard card is included in the monthly fee, but for £4.99 your child gets to choose from a set of colours and designs.
- Learning experience. Children will learn budgeting from a young age, so they’ll be more likely to turn into financially responsible adults.
How much does gohenry cost?
After a 1-month free trial, gohenry costs £2.99 a month for each child. Certainly not the cheapest possible option, but it does include free payments and ATM withdrawals in the UK, plus 1 free load from the parent account to the child account each month (after that it’s 50p per load).
Aside from that, there are fees if the card is used abroad: a 2.75% currency exchange fee on payments and £2 for each ATM withdrawal.
Is gohenry safe?
gohenry isn’t a bank, so deposits aren’t protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). However, gohenry cards are issued by IDT Financial Services, which is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and its funds are held in NatWest segregated accounts, which means that even if something goes wrong with gohenry, your money can’t be touched.
The card is protected by a PIN and can be instantly blocked through the app if it gets lost or stolen.
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Pros and cons of gohenry
- Full parental control thanks to instant notifications and spending limits
- One-month free trial
- It can be used by children as young as six
- Reward system for completed tasks
- Children learn about personal finance in a controlled environment
- Relatives can also send money to the children
- You can manage up to four child accounts from the same parent account
- Apart from the monthly fee, fees to use the card abroad and to top up also apply
- Only one free top-up to the child account a month
- Safe, but not as safe and regulated as a bank
- You cannot load cash onto the account
- It doesn’t pay any interest
When it comes to deciding whether gohenry is the right solution for your family, there are two main factors to take into account: price and parental control.
First of all, gohenry is relatively expensive: there are similar services, such as nimbl, that come for a smaller monthly fee, while some children’s bank accounts are free. Only one top-up to the child account a month is free, which is kind of annoying because, let’s face it, everyone expects pocket money to be paid weekly. So you need to think carefully whether gohenry is what you and your children actually need. However, gohenry allows free ATM withdrawals, which isn’t to be taken for granted.
Secondly, the parental control features are really thorough and if you turn off the cash withdrawals, your children won’t be able to spend a penny without you knowing what it was for. Which is amazing if you want to initiate your six-year-old to personal finance in a super-safe environment. On the other hand, your children will probably grow out of gohenry well before they turn 18 and expect you to grant them some actual independence and privacy, for which a regular children’s bank account is probably more adequate.
An easy and fun way to pay your kids pocket money and teach them good money habits
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