Verity, a fintech startup on a mission to teach kids and teens how to earn, save, give and spend responsibly, has officially launched the first family banking and financial literacy app with prepaid cards for children to go live in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The Verity app and prepaid Visa card enable children from the age of eight to start building their personal finance skills within a real-life environment.
The platform allows parents to control the overall family account while giving each child the option to create and manage their profile. Parents can top up their digital wallets directly from their bank accounts and then allocate a set amount to each user in the family through pre-scheduled monthly or weekly allowance or through one-off transfers. Children also have the option to ‘earn’ money by completing chores and tasks set by their parents. Once they have received their funds, kids are prompted to decide how much they would like to contribute to personal or family savings goals, causes or charitable initiatives, or their spending budget.
Omar Al Sharif, Co-founder of Verity, said: “While it’s been great to see a number of financial institutions begin their transition towards youth banking, which remains an underserved segment, we’re proud to be the first fintech to launch a truly comprehensive product that is ready for our community to download and start using immediately. The Verity app has been built specifically for families in the region – and with more than 200 nationalities with highly varied lifestyles living in the UAE alone, that has meant accommodating an incredibly diverse audience. We took the time to create a platform that was tailored to the needs of our target users and the positive feedback we’ve received from test groups, who have been among the first to experience the app, shows us this was the right approach.”
Verity has partnered with Visa and MENA Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) provider, NymCard, to facilitate the digital banking experience, issue personalised debit cards that are fully integrated into the app and allow children to make purchases online and in stores, within parameters set by their parents. Parents then have full visibility of every transaction made by their child and receive real-time reports on family and individual spending, giving them the ability to guide their children’s financial journey in a more informed way.
Dina Shoman, Co-founder of Verity, said: “We’re witnessing a real digital transformation here in the region, and financial services are taking the lead with 69% of MENA transactions expected to be cashless by 2023. Realistically, the next generation will rarely interact with banknotes or coins, which means it’s critical that parents get a head start on helping them appreciate the value of money.”
The launch comes following Verity’s latest bridge round, backed by strategic global investors and venture capital firms, which brings the total amount raised to $1.2 million. The additional capital will be used to develop new app features and facilitate customer acquisition activities, while also fueling the company’s expansion into new markets across the MENA region.
As of today, the Verity app can be downloaded from Google Play and the Apple App Store. The company has also launched a referral programme that allows existing subscribers to invite friends and family to join the Verity platform. For every new referred subscriber to download the app and activate their account, AED 20 will be automatically credited to both parties.