Jassby was founded in 2017 and it started as a free app families could use to manage chores and allowances. Today, it is a comprehensive platform designed to teach kids financial literacy skills with a fully digital, kid-friendly debit card and the same chore and allowance features it started with (plus more). The Jassby virtual debit card for kids can be used to make purchases online through the app or in person via Apple Pay.
This debit card just launched in 2020, making it a little on the newer side than its competition, but is it the best kids’ debit product fintech has to offer? Let’s dig into what makes Jassby great, what makes it not-so-great, and whether it’s right for you and your family.
Related: See how Jassby stacks up against the competition in our rundown of the best debit cards for kids and teens in 2021!
Who is it For
Average age: 13 to 18
Good candidate: Kids that primarily make purchases online and parents that pay their children allowance for completed chores.
Jassby operates primarily on a chores-and-allowance based system, so it makes the most sense for families that do too.
Children under the age of 13 are not permitted to register as users without parental consent, but this really isn’t geared toward young kids anyway. This product is best for teens that are comfortable using technology.
Features and Benefits
Fees: $2.99 monthly fee
As you can see, Jassby doesn’t have as many hidden fees as many debit cards, but this is partly due to the fact that it doesn’t offer as many features. For example, because ATM withdrawals are not permitted, there is no fee for this. And because there is no physical debit card, there are no fees for cash reloads or card replacement.
Jassby offers a six month free trial to new users.
The parent that sets up a Jassby account becomes the account’s “Family Organizer,” in charge of account funding and management.
Child accounts are funded by the Family Organizer’s linked account. A child can link their own bank account too, if they have one, but the parent’s funds will be used to make all payments. The child may choose to link their account to Jassby to see their balance and activity.
The Family Organizer can add another parent to their family’s account by creating a user account for them as an “Additional Parent.” Parents can also add grandparents as users. Doing this allows grandparents to contribute to a child’s account using their own funding source. Additional parents and grandparents may not change account settings.
Kids do not automatically get debit cards of their own. Parents must request debit cards for each of their kids.
To give their kids money, parents can set up allowances through Preferred Allowance accounts. This amount is set by the Family Organizer and paid automatically on a weekly or monthly basis. They can also supplement their kids’ earnings by assigning them chores to complete. In addition to or instead of chores, they might choose to incentivize different goals and behaviors such as getting good grades.
Parents can also play a role in determining how much their children may spend. They can set different spending limits to teach their kids the importance of budgeting, and check to make sure their kids are spending responsibly. Parents can see how much their kids are spending and where from their side of the app. If needed, they can lock and unlock cards instantly as well.
Family Organizers can create different budgets and funding schedules for each of their children. This can be done for general spending or for specific purposes such as spending at school. For general purpose use, parents can set budgets for spending, saving, and sharing.
More specifically, they can use Jassby to give their kids money for cafeteria food and schedule auto pays to deposit more money into this budget when it falls below a certain amount. Parents that do this can even see exactly what their kids are buying at school to help them make healthy eating choices.
Another way parents can protect their children is by restricting certain merchants. They have complete control over which merchants their kids can or cannot use their Jassby card. They can toggle these preferences from the app at any time.
Jassby users can spend, save, or donate their money.
To earn money, kids can complete chores assigned to them by their parents and may also get an allowance. If they need a little extra, they can actually request cash from their parents or even request more chores to earn that cash for themselves.
Spend: Kids can make purchases through the Jassby Shop using the money they’ve earned. When buying items through this online marketplace, users can filter by category for thousands of name brand products. They can also purchase select gift cards.
Kids can also use their digital cards in-person at retailers that use Apple Pay. Using Apple Pay, they can transfer money from their Jassby account to other Apply Pay users as well. Apple Pay is contactless and is used by opening the Apple Pay app when making a purchase. Users must be 13 years old or older to set up an Apple Pay account.
Jassby users may have their spending limited by their parents and budgets set for them, so they will only be allowed to spend what their parents have made available to them. Overdrafting is prohibited.
Whenever a child uses their Jassby card to make a purchase, they need to provide their PIN and verify their identity with Touch or Face ID. Jassby is powered by Mastercard.
Users cannot use their Jassby debit card to make ATM withdrawals or get cash back.
Save: Jassby users can either set specific savings goals for themselves or work with their parents to create these. Parents may choose to incentivize saving with allowance, but Jassby does not pay interest on money saved.
Donate: Kids can also donate their money with Jassby. This can be done through the Jassby Shop by selecting the category “Donate to Charity” or the “Give” tab. Available charities include the American Cancer Society, Habitat for Humanity, the Nature Conservancy, and Clean Water Fund. Users can choose to donate between $5 and $25 per transaction.
Parents may decide to motivate their kids to donate their money by assigning them giving goals or creating a sharing budget.
How Much Does the Jassby Virtual Debit Card Cost
Jassby does not require a subscription to use as many other kids’ debit products do, but there is a monthly fee for accounts that include virtual debit cards. This is a flat rate of $2.99 charged to family accounts. After the first debit card is added to an account, there is no charge for additional cards or child users.
To waive the fee of $2.99 per month, users have to make at least one purchase with their virtual debit card per month. As long as at least one user from a family account makes a purchase, this fee is waived automatically.
Benefits of Jassby Over Competitors
One of the nice things about Jassby is that it allows for many adult users on one account. An account holder can choose to add another parent to the family and Jassby even gives grandparents the opportunity to join in. Everyone can link their own funding source to pay a child, but the Family Organizer is ultimately in control of how the child spends their money.
Because Jassby is digital, it means your child’s card is safe from being lost or stolen. And because it is compatible with Apple Pay, finding merchants that accept the Jassby card is going to be easier than it would be for other contactless payment providers. Apple Pay is generally thought to be very secure as well.
Jassby is also cheaper than its competitors, and it is possible to waive the monthly fee. At between $0 and $2.99 a month with almost no hidden fees, Jassby is one of the most inexpensive choices for families.
One of the most inconvenient things about Jassby is that it is completely digital. This of course has its advantages, but it’s worth noting that there are still a lot of merchants that don’t accept Apple Pay. Jassby is probably not right for you if your child will need to make purchases and use ATMs when they’re not with you.
Another issue with this product is that the app is only available to Apple users. As of right now, there is no version of the Jassby mobile banking app in Google Play. So if you’re an Android user, you’re out of luck. Jassby planned to roll out an Android app in early 2021, but it’s not here yet.
Jassby gets good customer reviews overall. It has a rating of 4.2 on Trustpilot, with dozens of satisfied users reporting good experiences especially as it pertains to purchases made through the Jassby Shop and quality of customer support received.
However, one of the primary complaints about Jassby is that customer support is slow to respond. It seems that representatives for this company may be stretched a little thin at the moment, but that they do a good job helping you out once you do get in touch with them.
Unfortunately, the Jassby app doesn’t perform very well. It has a rating of 3 out of 5 stars in the App Store. Poor reviews state that the app is difficult to use and has limited functionality. If Jassby can manage to make the app more user-friendly and less clunky, they’ll please a lot of grumbling customers.
To contact customer support, call +1 (831) 274-7330 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also live chat through the website or app when Customer Support is online, which is between 9 AM and 5 PM EST Monday through Friday.
Is It Safe
Jassby uses many account security features to protect accounts from attacks and gives parents ways to keep their kids safe.
As far as spending protection, Apple Pay employs several security and privacy measures. Safety features include identity verification via Face ID, Touch ID, or passcode. This service never stores personal information or information about funding accounts.
Presumably, it can’t get much safer than a 100% digital debit card that is impossible to lose or steal, but this product is not immune to cybersecurity threats such as scams and data leaks.
Merchant restrictions and spending limits are put in place by Jassby to further protect users from fraudulent or unsafe activity. For example, Jassby users are not permitted to use their card at establishments that sell alcohol, gambling, or tobacco products.
Jassby’s parent institution is Needham Bank, a member FDIC financial institution. All checking accounts are insured up to $250,000.
How to Sign Up
To get started with Jassby, a parent must open an account. Parents then create accounts for each of their children. Finally, they need to apply for debit cards on behalf of their kids and register any adult users they’d like to register.
You will be enrolled in the six-month free trial upon signing up for an account, but you will be charged automatically at the conclusion of this period. There is no minimum deposit required to open.
Jassby tries to be modern and convenient, but it falls a little flat in a couple of ways. The first is that the only way to make in-person purchases is through Apple Pay and the second is that it is only available for Apple.
Chances are that if your child falls in Jassby’s target age range, they’ll need to make in-person purchases without you, and they’ll likely run into Apple Pay limitations when trying to do so. But if you don’t see this being a problem, Jassby would be a fine option for you. Jassby is cheaper than similar alternatives and has great security features and parental control options.