In hopes of developing a generation of more financially responsible adults, several local banks offer educational programs to teach kids about managing their money.
Kirkpatrick Bank opened what it calls its Kids Bank at its Danforth Road and Santa Fe Avenue location in Edmond in 2011.
The space has a child-size bank counter where the Kirkpatrick staff teach lessons about how to fill out deposit slips and how checking accounts work. The bank also offers kids savings and checking accounts without fees to help kids understand banking.
“We try to make it interactive and fun,” said Cynthia Archiniaco, vice president of marketing for Kirkpatrick Bank.
Teaching financial literacy to children is key to helping them become responsible with money later in life, Archiniaco said.
“There's lots of adults that we end up with that don't know how to operate a bank account,” she said.
First Fidelity Bank has developed a tip sheet for its customers to teach kids about using credit responsibly in connection with Credit Education Month in March.
The tips range from teaching children ages 3 to 5 about the concept of money and how it is used to buy things to teaching teenagers about saving for college and how to form responsible budgeting habits.
First Fidelity also offers children free checking or savings accounts that can be attached to a parent's account, said Lauren Harris, banking officer for First Fidelity.
“It's always a good idea to teach children about saving and building interest by getting them a savings account — it helps them build good habits,” Harris said.
MidFirst Bank introduced a savings account program called iSave in 2008 to teach children about the importance of saving money. The iSave account is available at MidFirst to anyone age 17 or under.
The accounts pay a higher interest rate than other savings accounts, and MidFirst will match 50 percent of the average of the highest single deposit each month up to $25.
While MidFirst would not disclose how many participants the program has, it has become popular with many of its customers, the company said in response to an inquiry from The Oklahoman.
“The iSave match formula helps establish a saving habit by rewarding children for making deposits on a regular basis,” MidFirst said in a statement. “Children learn through repetition and positive reinforcement. A reward for setting a goal and faithfully making deposits for 12 months gives children a sense of accomplishment and confidence that may carry over to other aspects of their lives.”
It's always a good idea to teach children about saving and building interest by getting them a savings account — it helps them build good habits.”
Banking officer for First Fidelity