Parents over the years have complained that their children do not ‘appreciate the value of money’, although, that phrase is starting to take on a new meaning.

This is because in 2016, for the first time ever, credit and debit card transactions surpassed cash, a statistic which has led some to question how we actually teach kids the value of money when the entire concept of currency is changing.

Mark Pesce, writing in The Register, argues: “Not very long ago, you knew what you spent because you could count the banknotes as you handed them over. Money was physical, tangible, and real. That’s less true today.”

Virtual money becomes a real alternative

The emergence of crypto currencies is only going to fuel more evolution in the economy – not only online. Bitcoin is the best known alternative currency, but not all cyber currencies could be classed as money.

If you have played any freemium game, you will be familiar with the idea of paying real money for credits, gold, time or forms of virtual currency. Once in the game environment, these purchases can become virtual assets which, in some cases, can be turned into real cash.

Smart devices present new ways to pay

Today’s young generation will grow up being able to pay for things with a smartphone, a watch or other internet-enabled devices. Indeed, we are probably not very far from the day when you can go through a McDonald’s Drive-Thru without paying – using just your car registration as currency.

Uber already lets us hire cabs without the need for cash and Amazon has launched a walk-in store where you don’t need to go to the checkout.

28 per cent of parents give ‘digital pocket money’

So, do children still need to learn the value of money? We would argue they do. But perhaps we need to re-think how we teach them.

Technology companies and parents alike are moving with the times and debit card companies have helped parents give ‘plastic pocket money’ to their children. Pocket money apps, which include Pigby’s Fair, iAllowance and Roosterbank, offer new ways to create a digital currency for children.

According to a recent survey, more than 28% of parents have already migrated to some form of digital payment, so are you on the money when it comes to rewarding your kids?

Intelligent Environments reports: “An online poll of 2,000 parents shows that the way they choose to give their children pocket money has changed over the years. One third (34 per cent) of parents now opt to transfer a weekly amount into their children’s digital bank accounts while over a quarter (28 per cent) pay their children in digital currencies for use in gaming communities such as Minecraft and Moshi Monsters or online services like iTunes.”