Go Cashless with POSB Smart Buddy





Introducing the Smart Buddy From POSB
 Apple may have launched the iWatch Series 3, but Singapore has its own version for kids that looked set to trounce the former in terms of usage.

What is the Smart Buddy?

It is Singapore version of a smart watch for kids. Billed as the world's first in school savings and payments wearable for primary school kids, it lets the child tap to pay in school and at selected merchant. You can also use it to track fitness level and last but not least tell time.

How it works
Source : POSB

  1. Paired it with the mobile app Smart Buddy (Available on IOS and Google Play)
  2. Start a daily allowance for child to use (maximum $100) per day
  3. Child would use the watch to tap the terminals to make a purchase (just like Apple Watch)
  4. Purchase can be make in school canteen or bookshop. It can also be used at outlets with contactless terminals including Popular Book Store, KFC, PIzza Hut, Sheng Siong and Comfort. More outlets will be included as Singapore moves towards a cashless society.
Smart Buddy App


Features of Smart Buddy


Protect your account
The Smart Buddy app has a function that remotely disable payments on the Smart Buddy in case it gets lost. Replacement for lost watches cost $30.

Simple to use
The Smart Buddy is not a touch screen surface. It is deliberately kept simple and operated by the button on the side. This will not distract the child during classes and cause them to fidget with the watch in class. Think of it like a digital watch with a the option of using it for payment

Activity Tracker
It has an activity tracker where you can track the number of steps taken per day. More functions can be found on the app which shows the distance and calories

Learn to budget
Parents can track what is spend on the app. Money not spend at the end of the day will be transferred to the child POSB kids account at the end of the day.
Source: POSB
Set Allowances Remotely
Allowance can be adjusted and customised anytime in case the child needs more money for the day. This can be done remotely

Benefits

With Singapore leaning towards a cashless society. Smart Buddy can be the baby steps to introduce the youth of today the concept of a cashless nation. In addition, as parents can track the child's spending, it will eliminate frivolous expenditure such as the 100th flag rubber from the bookstore. With the activity tracker, it can also get kids to start moving.

There are also plans to introduce location tracking to the watch. If that is implemented, it could allow parents to track their little ones wherever they are. We think this would be quite a useful upgrade.

Best of all, the Smart Buddy is FREE as long as the Primary school is listed for the program. No need to purchase the latest Gshock for kids.


How to get one?
Towards a cashless society
Smart Buddy is currently introduced to 19 Primary Schools only. The full list can be found here. If your child school is listed, they would already enjoy the benefits of Smart Buddy. If not, you can head to POSB website and send an email via their link to the school to request the school to consider a trial.

Smart Buddy is only available for Primary school. If successful, there are even plans to bring it to secondary school and may made available to the masses.

Admittedly , there are concerns with parents that such usage would erode the child's ability to use physical cash. We do think this concern can be addressed by allowing the child to use cash in other occasions or even delay the introduction of Smart Buddy till the child is Primary 3. Nonetheless,with Singapore moving towards a cashless nation, this is a baby step in the right direction. If this concept takes off, it could help the young ones embrace the concept and prepare them for the next leap in a smart nation.

Disclaimer 
TWD was invited for a media preview of Smart Buddy for the purpose of this review.

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