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Copper Review: An All-Digital App Teaching Teens Financial Literacy

Teaching financial management to teenagers can be quite a challenge. With this in-depth Copper review, you will find essential facts about this all-digital banking platform that is specially designed to help parents teach their children how to successfully manage their finances.

Copper Review: An All-Digital App Teaching Teens Financial Literacy

Personal finance management is generally not taught in high school. Thus, it leaves room for parents to step in and be the ones to train their kids on how to manage their money responsibly.

While this can be a bit of a challenge for parents, good thing there are banking platforms such as Copper that are made to allow parents to monitor their teen’s spending and saving habits. Essentially, help their young ones how to handle their finances well.

According to the National Financial Awareness Day Survey, which was provided by the Junior Achievement USA, while most teens today love technology, a lot of them still rely on cash when it comes to making purchases and getting their allowances from their parents.

In fact, the survey shows that “80 percent of teens who receive money from parents or caregivers say it is in the form of cash and 75 percent of teens say they have made purchases in cash.”

Meanwhile, “26 percent who received money from parents or guardians said it was wired into their bank account, while nearly as many (23%) used their parent or caregiver’s credit card for online purchases,” while only 10 percent used financial apps like mobile banking apps such as Copper to receive money or purchase items.

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Another noteworthy finding is that although most receive money in cash, 48 percent say they use mobile or online apps to help manage their money. Particularly for budgeting and planning purposes.

To be fair, we see the result of this survey in a positive light. Although most of the respondents receive and purchase using cash, we like the fact that nearly half are using mobile apps to help manage their finances.

For us, it is a good sign that many of the young people today care about their money. Unlike the older generations, thanks to technology, younger generations are more literate or are more willing to learn when it comes to proper handling of their money.

It’s nice knowing that with their easy access to mobile apps or mobile/online banking, young people learn. Needless to say, it makes the task of parents when it comes to teaching their children financial management easier.

Now, going back to Copper.

Obviously, in the next couple of sections, we are going to share with you answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about this all-digital banking platform.

In particular, we are going to tackle in the Copper review the following:

  • What is Copper Banking?
  • Who is Copper Banking best for?
  • What are the products offered by Copper Banking?
  • How to bank with Copper Banking?
  • Is Copper Banking safe?
  • What to like about Copper Banking?
  • What not to like about Copper Banking?

WHAT IS COPPER BANKING?

Similar to when you are choosing a bank for your banking needs, as parents, you also need to check and do your own research when it comes to selecting a tool that will help you teach your children financial management.

There are a couple of online banking platforms that are targeting teens, so finding the best one that fits your preference as a parent and what you think is best for your teenager is important.

So, in this part of our Copper review, you will find out some of the key information about this online bank.

Copper Banking is a free digital-only banking platform that was established in April 2019 and is currently based in Seattle, Washington.

Learn more about Copper in this video below:

The online banking platform was founded by Eddie Behringer and Stefan Berglund, and was specifically designed for teens.

As of this writing, Copper Banking has raised $4.3 million through seed funding.

Copper Banking provides a digital checking account and a debit card for teenagers with a strong focus on financial literacy.

The mobile app comes with exclusive content as well as quizzes designed by Certified Financial Planners and other financial education experts to help the users learn more about financial management.

Additionally, the bank app also features built-in savings tools to help teens reach their respective financial goals.

While it does earn an annual percentage yield, it’s not as compelling as regular checking accounts. Nevertheless, it definitely serves its purpose.

WHO IS COPPER BANKING BEST FOR?

Copper Banking is an all-digital banking platform that is specifically designed for teens.

Obviously, it will benefit teenagers aged 13 to 17 years old the most. The app features exclusive content, quizzes, as well as built-in savings tools to help teens become better at managing their finances.

Copper Banking is ideal for parents as well who want an effective tool to teach their kids how to properly handle their money.

While the app is made for their children, it comes with certain parental controls particularly allowing parents to view transactions made by their kids, enable notification when the user is making a purchase, and a lot more (we are going to share with you the detailed feature in a different section).

WHAT ARE THE PRODUCTS OFFERED BY COPPER BANKING?

Now that you already know what Copper Banking is all about and who will benefit from it the most, it’s time to share with you important information about the fintech’s product offering.

By now, you probably have figured already that Copper only offers one – checking account with a debit card.

Before we move on, we just want to reiterate that technically speaking, Copper is not a bank but a fintech company. Fintech is the term for financial technology, which, according to Investopedia is “used to describe new tech that seeks to improve and automate the delivery and use of financial services.”

Copper uses SynapseFi, a partner of Evolve Bank & Trust for the backend technology of its app. The relationship between these two entities makes it possible for Copper to offer banking services to consumers.

As mentioned, Copper Banking is a mobile app that was specifically designed to help young people particularly teens aged between 13 and 17 years old learn about financial literacy.

While there are a lot of banks out there, most of them do not have accounts that are made to cater to the needs of teenagers.

Copper offers a digital checking account that comes with a MasterCard debit card, which enables the users to withdraw money from or use it in making purchases.

What’s nice about this all-digital banking platform is that it comes with a parental involvement feature that allows adults to track and monitor their teen’s spending habits.

With Copper Banking, sending and receiving money between parents or guardian and their teens easier. Everything is done digitally. So, with just a few clicks, parents or guardians are able to immediately transfer funds to their teen’s account.

As stated, Copper Banking offers a digital checking account. Unlike other banks that offer the same product catering to teens, Copper does not have a compelling APY. In fact, it’s too minimal you won’t feel it.

Moving on, the account comes with a MasterCard debit card that enables the users to withdraw cash at over 55,000 ATMs, at the same time, use it in making purchases where MasterCard is accepted.

What’s nice about it is that you do not have to wait until the physical card arrives before you can use it. As soon as parents or guardians fund the account, the virtual debit card is automatically activated.

Furthermore, the Copper debit card can be added to Apple Pay as well as Google Pay digital wallets.

Now, apart from the checking account and the debit card that comes with it, the Copper Banking mobile app also comes with other interesting and helpful features.

Now, let’s dig deeper into what these features have to offer —

Financial Education

Copper Banking was not only designed to provide banking services to teens but more importantly, to help them learn more about financial management.

Having said that, the fintech company actually has two primary ways to teach teens about financial literacy.

First is by offering a financial literacy quiz allowing teens to test their knowledge about financial management, at the same time, learn about it.

The second is by providing financial lessons, which they call “Cheat Codes.”

The company’s financial education department is headed by Liz Frazier who is a Certified Financial Planner, as well as an author of the book entitled, “Beyond Piggy Banks and Lemonade Stands: How To Teach Young Kids About Finance.”

Parental Involvement

Copper acknowledges the fact that the app is not enough to teach teens how to manage their finances. Parental guidance still plays a very important role.

So, with that, the app was created to ensure there is still parental involvement.

Copper provides parents or guardians certain controls through the app, and this includes the following:

  • View transactions made by their teens
  • Enable notifications every time a purchase is made
  • Ability to easily send as well as request funds between accounts
  • Ability to automate recurring transfers between parent and teen account for allowance or other regular funding purposes

HOW TO BANK WITH COPPER BANKING?

In the previous section of this review, we talked about what product does Copper Banking offers. This time around, we are going to talk about how to actually bank with Copper.

First of all, to be able to sign up for a Copper account, the parent or guardian must be at least 18 years old, while your child should be between 13 to 17 years old.

You must be a citizen or a permanent resident or non-permanent resident alien in the United States on a valid long-term visa. You must also have a valid Social Security number or a tax identification number, as well as an existing checking account to link to Copper.

When signing up, you will also be required to provide your personal information as well as your teen. Your Social Security number or tax identification number will also be asked, and of course, you will need to provide your login information for your linked checking account as well.

Since Copper is an all-digital banking platform, you will have to sign up online. Here’s a step-by-step guide for you:

  1. Click the Apply Now button on the website.
  2. Enter your phone number, and then, you will receive a link to download the Copper Banking app for teens.
  3. Once downloaded, launch the app and click How Does It Work?
  4. Click Let’s Do This.
  5. You will have to enter your phone number and then, click Next.
  6. Enter your security code.
  7. Choose whether you’re a teen or a parent.
  8. Provide your name, birthdate, email address, and zip code.
  9. Follow the next few steps to invite your teen or parent.

Cash Deposits

Apart from transferring funds online, another way to fund your teen’s Copper account is via cash deposit.

Copper uses the Green Dot network to enable cash deposits. So, all you have to do is visit the nearest Green Dot retailer location.

It is important to note, though, that retails usually charge a fee for this transaction. It varies depending on the retailer, but it could be up to $4.95 per transaction.

We highly suggest you only take this route when you have no other options left or when you have a good amount of money to deposit to make the fee worthwhile.

Deposits, Withdrawals, and Spending Limits

Unlike a typical deposit account, Copper has some depositing and spending limits. This includes:

  • $250 for daily load limit for debit card funding or ACH
  • $2,000 monthly load limit for debit card funding or ACH
  • $2,000 daily spending limit

While transferring money into a Copper account through ACH is fee-free, it takes 3 to 5 days before it gets credited to your account.

Additionally, if you use a debit card when transferring funds to a Copper account, there would be a small fee to cover the transaction cost.

Another option to transfer funds into a Copper account is by using online remittance platforms like Cash App, PayPal, and Venmo.

Meanwhile, to withdraw money from your account, you may opt to use an ATM, cashback at a retailer, ACH transfer, or fund transfer to a linked checking account.

Customer Support

Since Copper is a digital banking platform, it obviously does not have any local branches for in-person support.

So, in case you have any concerns, its customer support is only available through email at support@getcopper.com.

Fees

Unlike other fintech companies, Copper does not charge monthly fees, overdraft fees, as well as account maintenance fees.

The only possible fee you will encounter is the one charged by Copper’s third-party ATM operators should you decide to withdraw cash.

Also, as mentioned earlier, you may also be charged by Green Dot retailers if you opt to deposit cash.

IS COPPER BANKING SAFE?

Copper understands and acknowledges the importance of the safety and security of your personal as well as account details.

Thus, the fintech company features round-the-clock fraud monitoring to help ensure your teen’s money is safe from any suspicious activities.

Apart from that, the app also put other bank-grade security measures to avoid any untoward events.

With Copper Banking’s affiliation with Evolve Bank & Trust, all Copper deposits are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) for up to $250,000 per depositor, per account category in case of a bank failure.

WHAT TO LIKE ABOUT COPPER BANKING?

At this point of our Copper review, we are going to share with you a few things we like about this all-digital banking platform. This includes:

  • No Monthly Fees – Unlike other online banking platforms, Copper Banking does not charge monthly fees, as well as overdraft and account maintenance fees.
  • Parental Involvement Feature – Copper knows how essential the involvement of parents or guardians is in terms of teaching financial management among teens. That is why Copper provides them certain controls through the app to see how their teens are doing with their finances.
  • Exclusive Financial Literacy Content – We love this feature. We thought it is a nice touch for a teen banking app. This will definitely help broaden young people’s knowledge and understanding of financial management.
  • Lots of Deposit and Withdrawal Options – Apart from digital transfers, Copper also enables users to fund their account via Green Dot retailers for a minimal cost. Meanwhile, withdrawals may be done using the MasterCard debit card that comes with the Copper account in any of the over 55,000 ATMs nationwide.

WHAT NOT TO LIKE ABOUT COPPER BANKING?

Of course, this Copper review will not be complete without a list of the things that we do not particularly like about Copper, which includes:

  • Very Low APY – Unfortunately, Copper accounts can only earn a 0.001% annual percentage yield, which when compared to other mobile banking platforms that also cater to teens is very, very low.
  • Fees for Cash Deposits – While Copper allows cash deposits through Green Dot retailers, it does come with a fee of $4.99. So, unless it’s an emergency or you have a good amount to deposit, we highly recommend doing everything digitally.
  • Very Limited Customer Support – Since Copper is an all-digital banking platform, it also comes with a very limited customer support feature. Right now, customers may only contact them via email. No phones, no live chat support available.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON COPPER REVIEW

Copper is an all-digital banking platform that was specifically designed to help teens develop better financial management skills.

This also helps parents or guardians teach their teens how to handle their money properly to avoid future financial mistakes.

If you are a parent or guardian, does Copper meet your preferences? We do hope so.

Generally, we found through this Copper review that while there are a couple of good things about the banking platform, it also has some notable downsides including not earning a good APY as compared to others. So, unless that does not bother you, overall, it still is worth it.