What you need to know about: gohenry

Written by Lori Campbell on 8th Jun 2020

With coronavirus speeding up our transition to a digital and cashless society, more people are turning to apps to teach their children about money and give them some autonomy over what they spend and save. 
However, it can be easy to feel confused and overwhelmed by the sheer number of apps and products on offer – especially when they all appear to do the same thing on the face of it.
In response to demand for more guidance on how to choose between different products, Good With Money has introduced ‘need to know’ product and provider reviews.
Here we look at gohenry – a pocket money app which offers an account for you, and linked accounts for your children with their own debit cards. 

The deal

gohenry is a financial tool for children aged between six and 18, and for their parents.

Parents access their account through the gohenry app and use it to top up their child’s account. They can also set controls on their children’s spending habits.

Children are given a gohenry Visa prepaid card which can be used to make purchases in shops and online and to withdraw cash from ATMs. They can only spend the money that’s on the card, so there’s no danger of debt or overdrawn accounts. They can use the app to see their balance and the spending limits you’ve set for them.

Launched in 2012, gohenry now has more than 500,000 members in the UK and US.

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User-friendliness

gohenry is a nice-looking app that will appeal to children so this is definitely a draw. After all, they’re more likely to learn how to be good with money if it’s fun.

Children can see what tasks they need to complete to earn pocket money, mark them off when complete, and set themselves savings goals. They can also see instantly how much they are spending, and where. It is also easy to use for parents, allowing them to load the card with money, set tasks to be completed and spending limits.


Click here to start a two-month gohenry free trial 


Is it safe?

gohenry isn’t a bank, so deposits are not protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). However, gohenry cards are issued by IDT Financial Services, which is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Its funds are held in NatWest segregated accounts, which means that even if something goes wrong with gohenry, your money can’t be touched.

The card is protected by a PIN and can be instantly blocked through the app if it gets lost or stolen.

 

Sustainable option

gohenry recently released a new biodegradable ‘Eco Card’, which is made of 82 per cent bio-sourced renewable material (produced from field corn rather than fuel). On the first use of each card, gohenry will plant a tree in partnership with the Eden Reforestation Projects.

 

Unique selling points

  • Money independence for children. gohenry gives children a safe space to learn about money and occasionally, make mistakes. They can only spend money that is on the card (and in places allowed by parents) so they can’t rack up debt or go overdrawn. They can have autonomy with their pocket money, with the option for parents to help out if needed.
  • Your children can create their own personalised card.

The plus points

  • Full parental control. Parents can set spending limits they are comfortable with and get instant notifications for their child’s spending. You can set up an automatic weekly or monthly pocket money amount or make one-off transfers, although these come with a fee (see below).
  • Spending limits. As well as setting amount limits, you can also choose where the card can be used, and block or unblock it whenever you need to. You can tailor these limits for each child.
  • Free trial. gohenry is currently offering a two-month free trial, so you don’t have to commit straight away.
  • Suitable for young children. gohenry can be used by children as young as six.
  • Reward system. Parents can set tasks to help children earn money for completing jobs.
  • Safe limits. Children learn about personal finance in a controlled environment.
  • Sending money. Relatives can also send money to the children, making it easier for them to save Christmas or birthday gifts.
  • Good for families. Parents can manage up to four child accounts from the same parent account.
  • Saving goals. Children can set themselves ‘savings goals’ to automatically save a portion of their pocket money. They can also choose to donate an amount to the NSPCC.

Any drawbacks?

  • Monthly fee. The monthly fee isn’t the most competitive, and can add up for larger families. The fees to use the card abroad could make it an expensive option for use on holidays.
  • Top up fee. There is only one free top-up to the child account a month.
  • Not a bank. go henry is safe, but not as safe and regulated as a bank
  • No interest. gohenry doesn’t pay any interest on money in the account.

 

Cost of use

After a two-month free trial, gohenry costs £2.99 per month for each child. This includes free payments and ATM withdrawals in the UK, plus one free load from the parent account to the child account each month (after that it’s 50p each time).

There are also fees if the card is used abroad: a 2.75 per cent currency exchange fee on payments and £2 for each ATM withdrawal.

 

How do these costs compare to competitors?

gohenry is not the cheapest option for this kind of product. There are similar services such as Rooster Money that come for a smaller monthly fee, while some children’s bank accounts are free.

Only one top-up to the child account a month is free, which isn’t ideal when most children’s pocket money is paid weekly and shorter-term rewards can be more enticing for them. On birthdays and at Christmas, you might want to add money to your child’s account even more frequently.

However, gohenry does allow free ATM withdrawals, which can be useful depending on how your child is likely to use the card.

 

Other options

Similar pocket money apps worth considering are:

Rooster Money

iAllowance

Gimi

Otly!


Top 6 cool piggy banks for kids


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