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Cashless with Canvas: This app manages pocket money and household expenses for kids, helpers

domestic worker canvas

Canvas is a homegrown digital cashless solution for household finance management that’s designed for families and their household dependents in Singapore.

“The idea for Canvas was sparked a couple of years ago. It began as a smaller project of a bigger organisation in Singapore, (but) only recently did a group of parents decide to take over the project on a startup basis and bring it to realisation,” said Georgina Bullworthy, Project Lead of Canvas.

“Essentially, the idea behind Canvas was fuelled by parents who were trying to provide a cashless solution for their children’s pocket money and daily expenses. Especially in today’s hyper-digitised living, going cashless is more essential now than ever.”

At the same time, these parents were looking for a one-stop solution to seamlessly manage household expenses when assisted by their helpers. As there were no existing products in the market for kids and domestic workers, Canvas targeted these two consumer groups.

They have pinpointed Singapore as a market to launch in because more retailers here are turning digital and choosing cashless.

The nature of our new normal has also pushed many industries — especially traditional brick-and-mortar stalls — to turn to digital financial options.

As such, more consumer groups are looking for an easy and convenient alternative to cash and we are glad to be able to offer affordable and accessible digital financial service through a single app.

– Georgina Bullworthy, Project Lead of Canvas

Cashless solution for family finance

canvas card and app
Canvas app and card / Image Credit: Canvas

In end April, they launched the Canvas card and app, along with an accompanying prepaid Visa card.

The app aims to bring more visibility to household spending and provides an alternative to spend independently, responsibly and securely.

When asked how they managed to strike a partnership with Visa, Georgina explained that one of Canvas’ close and strategic partners Railsbank, helped to connect them with Visa.

Visa has apparently been a strong supporter of Railsbank’s technological innovation which provides financial technologies to some of the world’s most prominent fintech startups. 

Canvas reimagines pocket money and provides parents full transparency and access over their children’s expenses. It also gives children both autonomy and accountability in their expenses by helping them manage money while becoming familiar with financial technologies from a young age.

Canvas can also be used by employers of domestic workers to manage household purchases. Employers can transfer a prepaid budget into the Canvas Visa card for family expenditures such as groceries and supplies.

Customers can register, add cardholders, order cards, transfer funds onto the Canvas Visa card, and manage spend through their mobile devices.

Canvas removes the need for parents and employers to make cash-heavy and timely trips to the ATM. It also helps parents to educate their kids on the value of money and the responsibility of owning a debit card and making wise digital purchases.

– Georgina Bullworthy, Project Lead of Canvas
canvas app and card
Kid using Canvas / Image Credit: Canvas

With full parental and employer controls, children can make age-appropriate online transactions and domestic workers can gain independence and choice over everyday household expenditure.

By taking the hassle out of cash-heavy pocket money and household expenditure, parents and employers no longer need to make trips to the ATM and can find more opportunities to understand digital spending as a family.

S$2.99 per month for each card

In today’s cashless society, Canvas is providing greater access to digital financial solutions to make household finance management seamless.

The growth of digital payments in Singapore means that digital finance is no longer a novelty, but a necessity. However, debit cards are only traditionally offered to children above the age of 16, while children below 15 can only manage their money in cash. This limits their access to digital finance and their development of financial literacy.

As financial habits form as early as seven years old, parents need the tools to teach their children how to manage their money responsibly. Canvas equips them to do so, while providing a convenient cashless solution to family finance.

– Georgina Bullworthy, Project Lead of Canvas
georgina bullworth canvas
Georgina Bullworth, Project Lead of Canvas (middle) with her two kids / Image Credit: Canvas

According to Georgina, the response at launch has been great and they have received positive feedback from users who have been enjoying the convenience of Canvas.

However, since cash has been so “intrinsically ingrained in our culture and society”, they find it challenging to encourage new habits of giving digital pocket money.

The Canvas community has also actively shared product feedback, which they take into consideration when testing and trialing the product.

“We have lots of great features and upgrades lined up based on this initial user feedback and requests and we can’t wait to roll out the next versions of the Canvas app for our growing user base,” said Georgina.

This expansion of product features includes more payment top-up options, an option for an additional account holder to jointly control the accounts, savings, charity links, collaborations, referral programmes and insurance options.

She promises that there will be “lots to come in the next six months” that aims to improve the user experience.

The Canvas card and app is currently available for download from the Google Play and Apple App store. New customers can enjoy a 30-day free trial of the Canvas Prepaid Visa Card upon registration on the app.

Thereafter, the Canvas Card is available for subscription at S$2.99 per month for each card. Commenting on its monthly subscription model, Georgina said that they wanted to keep an easy and low-fee structure with no hidden costs.

“As such, instead of charging for each top up or transaction, there are only two fees to take note of — the monthly fee, and a one per cent fee for top-ups over S$400 in a month,” she said, adding that the first S$400 top-ups are free.

Canvas is also offering a S$5 sign up bonus credited to each Visa card for children till the end of May 2021.

Featured Image Credit: Canvas

Categories: Singaporean, Fintech

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