Singapore bank pushes cashless transactions to elementary school children with free smartwatches

In an effort to encourage adoption of cashless transactions in Singapore, local bank POSB has launched a new “Smart Buddy” program, offering contactless payments and fitness tracking capabilities with free smartwatches for elementary school children.

The new program officially launched this week and is available to about 6,000 primary school students at 19 schools in Singapore, according to The Straits Times. After enrolling their children, parents can remotely send funds to their child’s watch, and track their spending habits.

POSB’s program was designed in part to be compliant with the government of Singapore’s “Smart Nation” push, which seeks to encourage adoption of cashless transactions.

Of course, issuing free smartwatches to students also encourages children to establish financial services with POSB, identifying and hooking in potential customers at a very young age.

The bank says the watches will help children learn how to set a budget and save money. Parents will also be able to teach money management by following their spending through the connected app.

Schools themselves are also in on the program, allowing students to use their watches to make cashless payments for lunch and other items. And some local retailers, including Cheers and Popular, are also supporting the contactless payment method.

POSB hopes to extend it smartwatch program to Singapore’s remaining primary schools — about 200 in all — over the next two years.