Forum: Young need to learn to spend within their means

I was appalled to learn of the collaboration between licensed payment institution Nium and Get Technologies to issue the Get card to teenagers as young as 13 or 14 (Should 13-year-olds get their own payment cards?, Aug 22).

Parents have the responsibility to ensure that children know the value of money and do not get addicted to the idea of spending beyond one's means.

But business owners like financial institutions or financial technology companies must not take advantage of a teenager's naivety to promote their business and increase their revenue.

The marketing gimmick of telling people who obtain the Get card that they are among the "very first few people" to do so will elicit a reaction from impressionable young people, out to prove their financial independence, ability or even maturity to their peers.

Business owners should not allow any financial instrument, especially of a debt or loan nature, to be accessible by the young without the knowledge and approval of parents. The parents will ultimately be responsible for any bad decisions made by the children.

Financial institutions may claim that the young must learn the value of money as early as possible through financial planning.

Credit or debit cards can be a way of teaching the young how to spend carefully.

But the value of money should be learnt from managing one's earned income, not some future unearned income.

Not many children have parents with deep pockets.

With personal debt soaring among young adults during this pandemic, I hope that the authorities will take a serious view of such marketing gimmicks by financial institutions or financial technology companies.

Let teenagers learn the importance of saving and living within their means, rather than spending or over-consuming.

Foo Sing Kheng

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