This is a question most parents have. Technically, you can open a bank account in your child’s name when he reaches the minimum age required by the bank of your choice. So, it’s best to check with your local banks to find out what this age is. It’s never too early to set up a bank account for your child. In fact, a lot of parents open a separate account where they deposit the money their child receives. As you give your child some financial education, you can start letting him decide what to do with his money. This should initially be done with your guidance. It’s not a particular age that you are looking for. It’s the level of your child’s financial maturity. You will certainly know when he can manage his own money. In the meantime, you can retain control of your child’s bank account while “consulting” with him about everything you do to it.
The convenience of an ATM account cannot be discounted. You don’t even have to give him cash anymore because he can use his ATM to make purchases at various establishments. What you should be cautious of, however, is what he uses his ATM card for. Until you are sure that he can be trusted to handle his money wisely, you should not give your child his own ATM card. As a compromise, perhaps you can open an ATM account in his name, but keep the ATM card with you unless he needs it. During the times he uses his ATM card, you should be there with him to guide him through the process and maybe even to make sure that he is not withdrawing more than he should.
Don’t make too much fuss about an ATM card or a debit card. Focus on teaching your child to make wise purchase decisions. When you succeed in doing this, you can be sure that he will not easily be tempted into spending his money on frivolities he does not need. Then, you can be confident that your child will keep his ATM card and use it responsibly.