Banking on kids

Crisp new notes in a brand new wallet. Plastic cards with magnetic strips containing details of the bank account. Sounds like old hat?

Not if you consider that the money, called KM (Kids Money), is issued by the Reserve Bank of Pantaloons!

Banking on kids

The account is in the Kids Bank at the Pantaloons outlet here. Is that some sort of joke? Not at all. That's `Learn to Earn', a first-of-its-kind loyalty programme chalked out to woo kids and teach them to save.

Sounds good? The first purchase of Rs. 800 at the Kids Section earns KM 80, worth its equivalent in rupees.

It would be a moment of pride for the kid to use a small chair and table at the Kids Bank in a specially designed corner of the store and fill out an application.

Banking on kids

The kid then gets a plastic card and an attractive wallet with KM 80 in it. The money has the inscription ``Pantaloons promises to give the bearer Kids Bank products of a value of Kids Money 5 only''.

The kid can either buy a soft toy, a pencil set with a doll or any object in the assortment. He or she can accumulate the earnings with 10 per cent on each subsequent purchase and go for a bigger buy.

The range of kids' stuff available in a 2,100 square foot area at the Begumpet outlet comprises baby accessories, utilities, playmates, sleeping time and feeding time objects, toiletries, garments and furniture.

Banking on kids

The plastic card can be used for transactions at any of the 14 outlets all over the country, says G.P. Sudheendra, manager, operations, at the outlet here. Launching the scheme, he gave away plastic cards to Nandita and Nivedita, two cute-looking kids who beamed with all the innocence and happiness, which only a child is capable of showing.

The Kids Bank is tastefully designed with a television screening cartoon movies and a cut-off of Earnie, a character specially created to teach children the benefits of saving with the Kids Bank.

Good enough an idea for commercial banks to follow?

By Suresh Krishnamoorthy

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