Currently, according to the information portal Bizum.es, more than 23 million Spaniards have used the new online banking mechanisms. The use of Bizum is here to stay as an alternative to traditional transfers, as the arrival of new technologies allows easy and comfortable access to each client’s bank accounts, although these developments, within the trends, have created a scenario in which minor users must learn to manage their accounts from the age of 14, the minimum age at which young people can self-manage their income, according to child psychology experts.
Ángel Nigorra, general director of Bizum, has maintained that “Bizum is already part of the daily life of nearly 23 million Spaniards and this shows its consolidation as a simple, fast and secure payment method”. And young people can already use it. In this sense, for example, BBVA incorporated an update into its mobile application in November, which facilitated the use of this technology among minors. The company defends that these novelties are associated with the accounts that hold the debit card for young people. According to BBVA’s own website, this adaptation has caused eight out of ten people over the age of 14 to use this technology on a daily basis, which has allowed them to carry out more than 10,700 operations in the first month in which this policy has come into force.
The import of these operations entail a daily average of 16.5 euros spent by underage customers, according to the bank. However, a high percentage of operations still ‘escape’ the scrutiny of adults. According to BBVA data, only 60% of operations are supervised by legal representatives, since this would be the proportion of charges made by minors under 18 years of age in an electronic commerce that have received the approval of their guardians. The objective of the new application is for parents to have direct references to their children’s expenses, but there are still cases within these operations in which the parental control policy has not been implemented.
unstudied psychological effects
BBVA, together with Bankinter, have been the first banking entities in Spain that have opted to enable Bizum for this sector of their clientele. Given the lack of regulation within Spanish legislation, since there is still no legal framework that adequately regulates the general policies on the use of online banking by minors, according to experts, it is advisable to consider the age at which that adolescents have access to the money that their parents keep in financial institutions. Companies like Santander, La Caixa, Unicaja and Sabadell have not yet ruled on whether they will follow this trend.
The maximum amount that BBVA has set for young people to carry out operations in Bizum ranges between 50 euros for the junior option and 500 euros for the standard option, which must be previously selected by the parents. The cap that the entity has given to the standard format could represent a risk if one takes into account that the 500 euros are unattainable figures for the income that a child under 14 years of age can receive and would be far from the amounts recommended by experts.
Some financial advisors such as Eduard Conti, an expert in inclusion and financial education, have ruled on what is the appropriate monetary amount to give a minor so that they learn to manage their income. According to Conti, these figures must oscillate between 15 and 25 euros to guarantee complacent and thrifty weekly management. The operating limits that exist at the moment are certainly higher.
81.6% of people between the ages of 16 and 24 have made purchases online at some time in their lives, according to Statista. In this way, the world of online banking is still in full swing and it is not a certified space for the new generations to take their first steps into consumerism and exposure to spending on the Internet. Educators maintain that financial training implies economic knowledge that minors acquire little by little in order to know how to differentiate when they waste their money and when they don’t.
Internet addiction and youth
98% of young people between the ages of 14 and 18 have used the Internet at some point in their lives for profit. This statistic demonstrates the compulsive use that minors make of digital platforms; within this world, the presence of lucrative and gambling games is quite frequent, which encourages childhood gambling.
The report implies that the fact that a person under 18 years of age can access these online services implies a risk that cannot be ignored, for this reason, the policies on the use of bizum should be more restrictive and request a mandatory follow-up of each operation, going beyond simple indicative recommendations for tutors.
This same report recognizes that youth is the population most at risk of succumbing to the exorbitant use of networks, showing that 23.5% of minors show behaviors dependent on technology. The therapeutic objective of these data shows that education is a fundamental aspect so that youth can acquire the necessary skills when making purchases online, since poor financial management at an early age can end up with poor savings capacities. users. After all, we are talking about consumers who rarely have access to monetary amounts greater than three figures.
The correct management of Bizum implies a great responsibility and solvency of the client so as not to end the account at 0. their children, studies reveal that the mental pressure that comes with spending 10 euros in cash is not the same as what can be get with a transfer. Science defends that minors value those tangible assets that are in their hands much more, since a 14-year-old child is still not able to differentiate the importance of cards when it comes to controlling the level of consumption.
It is essential that financial institutions know how to set the appropriate limits for this market so that it does not threaten child psychology and the financial well-being of families that use daily digitization. Since minors do not begin to receive a decent, useful and advanced financial education until they access training courses higher than ESO.