Friday, September 29, 2017

[ Review ] POSB Smart Buddy

When news of the launch of POSB Smart Buddy Programme into 19 local primary schools in Singapore came about, I had a mixture of both positive and negative thoughts running through my mind. Xav's school does not have this programme yet, hence, when  I first received the invitation to attend this briefing, I made my rsvp without even giving a second thought thinking that the briefing was a very opportunity for me to find out more.

I would say I am open to this idea and why I would say YES to this programme ? Basically, Smart Buddy is the world’s first in-school savings and payments wearable on the child’s wrist. I read and heard that it allows your child to tap to pay for food in school (You can even track what meals they purchased during recess),

Photo Credit: POSB Smart Buddy

at the bookshop and at selected merchants, check on balances, and track fitness levels. Think smart watch + Fit-bit + "e-wallet" all in one and it's so convenient to do them all while on the go. Let me just quote you some live examples or rather present issues I am facing with Xav.

Overall monitoring in an app 

First, in just this year, coming close to 10 months, he dropped and lost his coin pouch a few times in school. Either he ended up borrowing money from his teacher or he went without a recess because I do not encourage him to borrow from friends so as to deter any misunderstanding.

POSB Smart Buddy: It's just like a e-wallet. Parents can allocate and set a fix amount of allowance on a daily basis or change to a higher amount on certain days. You can also monitor with a touch of a button and at a glance, how much did the child spend and how much is left for the week. On the other hand, the child can get to check the balance is left for the remaining week. This way, I felt that it allows them to plan better on how to use their money wisely and spend within their means. Else, they can choose to save up the balance. 

Second, with the start of having enrichment, getting involved and helped out in the Reading Buddy Programme in school, on certain days, he would have to stay in school beyond the normal school hours. On these days, allowance will be slightly more to cater for his lunch. Sometimes, he could be so absent-minded that he could just leave for school without taking the allowance meant for that day or it could be his mummy, me, who forgot to give more.

POSB Smart Buddy: From the mobile app, parents can actually top up their allowance for the day without having to personally bring down money 

Third, he travels to school on his own since he was in Primary 2. Previously, we bought him a GPS watch to track his location. Now that 2G is being phased out, we gave him a phone for communication purpose but at a risk of him losing the phone in school as well.

POSB Smart Buddy: Has a bus tracker and an in-school locator, parents like myself who has their kids going to school on their own can put their mind at ease and be informed of their wherabouts all on the app. 

Fourth, I personally think it is so convenient to just tap and pay at selected retail stores that have this Nets Contactless symbol. I am always travelling around with just my card holder. All my payments are in Nets most of the time. For an instance, Popular has always been Xav's favourite retail store and at times, he will be asking to purchase a copy of a book out of the blue. So imgaine, how POSB Smart Buddy can save me from making a trip down just to pass him money. Say that I am lazy but I think he is independant enough to make simple purchases. So, we tried purchasing from the retail shop for the first time using POSB Smart Buddy. It will show how much was allocated for the day, how much was spent and how much balance Xav has left for the day. 

It will reflect where the money was spent at as well. However, the watch does not reflect how much is left after the purchase. It can only be viewed on the mobile app.

POSB Smart Buddy: Participating retail outlets (with Nets contactless symbols) allow wearers to pay with smart buddy, just tap and go ! Seriously, I wish I am issue with this watch !

Fifth, it does not only function as a watch, in-school location tracker (though it will be good if it can have an in-built GPS tracker, not limit to only tracking in schools, a spend-and-save e-bank, it can also be used as a health tracker. Xav got motivated to walk more so that he could reach his target of a certain number of steps. 

POSB Smart Buddy: It will sync with the watch and records the number of steps, distance covered as well as the amount of calories burnt. 

Overall, to be frank, I find it pretty beneficial and it is FREE for all students if the school decides to try out this programme (Replacement fee of $30 will be imposed should you lose it and needed a replacement) and on the other hand, I am sure that some of you out there may object to this idea as some would think that the basic fundamental of knowing how to count money should be taught, like the way we were brought up, which is counting the notes and coins physically.

Another concern for most parents, what if my child loses the watch, someone could have just misuse it and make illegal attempts to transact with it. Fear not, remind your child to keep you inform as soon as possible and with just a swipe of the button via the app, just go to the child's profile and you can deactivate the usage of the funds. I thought how cool this is, immediate prevention could be made.

My view on this point is, it still falls on how the parents would want to strike a balance. On school days, kids can wear and transact via POSB Smart Buddy while on the weekends, parents can still continue to allow them to make purchases using physical notes and coins.

If you are still not agreeable to this policy, then just allow your child to wear this as a normal watch. It is just like learning the first and second language, many are struggling with learning their second language because too much emphasis is on the first and now, it is unbalanced. The same theory applies to this programme and our usual way of counting money physically. All in all, I do not see the need to even set up social media pages to show your strong objection against the launch of this programme, I receive it with an open mind and I hope the watch can be upgraded to have a GPS function in the near future.

For more information about POSB Smart Buddy Programme, click here. I have just submitted a request to Xav's school to ask them about considering getting onboard of the programme.

Thank you for reading and if you would like to stay tune for future updates, do follow me on :

Disclaimer: I was invited by DBS to attend the briefing and for the review of POSB Smart Buddy. No monetary compensation is involved and all opinions are of my own. 

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...