Are you interested in teaching your kids about money management or just want an easier way to pay them their pocket money without using cash? Then take a look at this gohenry review to see how the app and the card work and whether it’s right for you.
10-second gohenry review
A great idea and it works very well – it gives you a lot of control over your child’s spending, whilst still making them feel grown-up. However, it’s not cheap and the costs soon add up for larger families.
It’s quite scary to write it, but I’ve just figured out that it’s been 21 years since I left school. I also went to university, which means in total, I spent almost 17 years in education.
In that time, I learned two languages, one of which I can remember about three words of. I spent years trying to figure out the circumference of a circle, something I have never used since. And worst of all, I spent almost five years reading various Shakespeare books. I think he should have stopped after the first one.
But something I didn’t learn about was finance. I knew next to nothing about banking, finance or bills. My dad would give me £5 every week, I would spend it in the shop within a few hours, and that was it.
So, I have tried to teach my children about finance and the importance of budgeting. But I’m sure many of you will agree that this is easier said than done.
I then found out about the gohenry account, which could help me in my quest.
What is gohenry?
gohenry is a prepaid Visa card and app that works in a very similar way to a debit card. You can shop in-store, online and withdraw money from an ATM. However, because it’s a pre-paid card, it means that your child can’t go on a spending spree and rack up a load of debt. They can only spend what is in the account.
Launched in 2012, they now have over 500,000 members across the UK and the USA. The company that owns gohenry (gohenry Limited) is based in Hampshire and has been running since 2007.
And their aim? Taken from their website:
The upshot is that our product gives kids a safe space to learn and occasionally, make mistakes: no debt, no overdrawn accounts, and with the option for parents to jump in and help out if needed.
Ultimately, we want every child to graduate from gohenry with confidence, independence and money sense. We want them to be fully prepared for the digital economy and the rise of a cashless society. And we want them to boldly face adulthood’s later financial pressures, fearlessly navigating some of life’s trickiest waters: their money.
How does gohenry work?
It takes you just a few minutes to open an account online. You then order a free (prepaid) debit card with your child’s name on it. Or, if you’re feeling generous, you can pay £4.99 and order a fully customised card. This should arrive (addressed to your child) within 7 days.
Then, you should download the gohenry app. From here, you can monitor your child’s activity and load money onto their account. If you have more than one child with a card, all the accounts can be seen from the one app. Although you can monitor account activity from the main website, it’s much easier and more convenient to use the app.
You will then need to load your account (aka parent’s account) with some money. Unfortunately, you are not able to directly load your child’s card from your bank account.
Next up, you can arrange for a set amount to be transferred from the parent’s account to your child’s account every week. But you aren’t just restricted to that one set transfer. You can also make one-off payments if you’re feeling generous or if you want to reward your child. If you manage to convince your child to clean your car (and not scratch it), why not send them an extra £2?
You can also create savings goals so that a certain % of your child’s pocket money can be set aside each week.
With gohenry, you have overall control of the account.
Is gohenry safe?
gohenry isn’t actually a bank which means they aren’t FSCS protected. However, they are regulated by the FCA, which means that funds are kept in a segregated account. So if something should happen to gohenry, your money is secure.
The app uses 256-bit encryption, which means that all details are kept securely. And you don’t have to worry too much about your child losing their card. If this should happen, you can quickly block the card from being used from the app.
You can also receive real-time notifications, so you know when and where you receive your child is spending. And as I said earlier, because it gohenry is a prepaid debit card, it means your child can’t spend what’s not in their account.
The parent app
And as a parent, you have a great amount of control. You can choose how your child is able to use their card. Don’t want them shopping online? Then just turn off the option. You can control the card from either your computer or the app from your phone.
The app allows:
- A full breakdown of funds on your child’s card and savings
- Find out how much their allowance is due and when
- Go through their transactions
- Monitor how much they’re earning via tasks
- See a list of tasks they need to do and how much they’re worth
- See a breakdown of their savings and different savings goals
- Retrieve their PIN
- Order a custom card or block their card
So, is gohenry a good idea?
This is a great learning experience for children. Their card can be used in-store, online or at an ATM – anywhere that accepts Visa. It may take them a while, but it will really help them get to grips with having an adult-like account.
gohenry has pretty much thought of everything and there are only really three downsides I can see.
The first is that as a parent, you can only have four child accounts linked. For the vast majority, that isn’t a problem, but it could prove awkward for bigger families.
The 2nd is that you can only load your account once per month for free. If the parent’s account runs out of money, it will cost an extra 50 pence to top it up. That means that you will be probably be inclined to transfer a bigger amount each month to make sure you have enough in your account. The only issue with this is that you won’t earn any interest.
The 3rd and this is a big one for me, is the monthly cost. As a father of 3, running those accounts will soon add up.
How much does gohenry cost?
Each account comes with a fee of £2.99 per child, per month. So as a father of three, I would be spending almost £9 per month or over £100 per year.
That only includes loading the card once. If I wanted to add extra money as a one-off, that will cost an extra 50 pence each time.
The only other fees worth noting are when using the card abroad. There is a £2 charge for a foreign ATM withdrawal and a 2.75% charge if making a card transaction. These fees are in line with most other debit cards.
What other people think
When writing my reviews, I always like to take a look at what other people think. On Trustpilot, gohenry scores an average 3.7 out of 5 from over 5000 customers. On the positive side, reviewers are pleased with how the app works and how useful it is for teaching kids about money. Most of the negative comments on there seem to be due to the charges and fees involved.
My gohenry review conclusion
I do actually love the idea behind gohenry. The whole process is very slick and you can have control over almost everything. Plus, it makes your child feel like an adult and helps them to get into managing their finances.
It’s just that I’m not willing to pay that much for it. But then, I am tight.
gohenry is currently offering a free trial though, so you could always try it for yourself and see what you think. Just click on the button below to find out more.
If you like the idea of gohenry, but are not sure you’re willing to pay the subscription cost, why not take a look at some of these gohenry alternatives?
How do I cancel my gohenry card?
You can cancel by phone on 0330 100 7676 or send an email to email@example.com
Can gohenry be used online?
Yes. Although the option can be turned on or off.
How old do you have to be for a card?
gohenry is aimed at young people aged 6-18.
Where can gohenry be used?
gohenry cards are accepted anywhere you see the Visa sign.
Is the gohenry card contactless?
Yes it is. But limits on spending can be controlled from the main account.
Is gohenry free?
You can try gohenry as a free trial. But once this finishes, you will need to pay a monthly subscription.