, Business editor
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
It is the question that all parents struggle to answer: how do you teach children the value of money?
• Maps With Me – includes maps of 345 countries in the world and works in the middle of nowhere.
• Run Keeper – keeps runners motivated and tracks their times.
• Tube Map – helps you negotiate the underground network when on a visit to London.
• World Lens – a foreign language translator, take a photo of what you want translated and it will translate there and then.
• Babycentre – for pregnant women to understand more about their growing baby bump.
• Pocket – saves bookmarks web/pages/documents to read later. Can be saved on a PC to read on a smartphone later or vice versa, and it can save links in Twitter, Facebook or email.
• Tabata Free – an interval timer for workouts, based on the Tabata method of 20 seconds of effort, 10 seconds of rest.
• Droplet – a mobile money app that lets you load cash onto your phone and send payments to anyone.
• Vouchers – provides mobile voucher codes to help you save money on restaurants, shopping and days out.
• Zoopla – access the latest housing market information.
However, one city start-up believes it may have the solution – and it can found on your mobile phone.
Norwich-based Cyneric Media has devised a new smartphone app called Pocket Money, which allows parents to set children tasks in exchange for points that can be cashed in for financial rewards.
The free programme has been developed by computer coder and company founder Russell Taaffe after he became frustrated when he could not inspire his children to do jobs around the house.
He believes that his innovation has the potential to encourage children to become financially savvy and develop a strong work ethic – and he has already gained the support of north Norfolk MP Norman Lamb.
Now he is now keen to win the approval of the region’s councils in a bid to roll out the software in schools across East Anglia.
Cyneric Media, which has offices on Magdalen Street, said it was on course to add 40 new developers to its eight-strong workforce in 2015 – and transform its balance sheet from £20,000 loss to a £514,000 profit –after financial backers rushed to invest in a new smartphone game it is releasing later this year.
Mr Taaffe who created the company with his business partner Adam Kalynuk, said: “My two stepchildren were staying at home, playing computer games and not doing much, and we have a house which requires quite a bit of work.
“We wanted help and they were coming into their pre-teens and started to want pocket money to go out.
“That’s when I thought that, as a parent, we have leverage over our children. So I began to devise the app.
“I thought you could put a value on a car wash for example, and once that chore is complete the children’s account would be accredited with money or a reward.”
He added: “It teaches children the value of money and the importance of saving money, but it is down to the parent to set their own rewards.”
Pocket Money, which is aimed at six-to-14-year-olds, begins with parents setting children a series of tasks on the app for them to complete.
Adults have the power to decide the value of each task depending on how hard it is to finish.
Meanwhile, children can log into the app and choose which tasks they want to complete first as they look to collect enough points to reach their overall target.
However, Mr Taaffe is quick to stress that the rewards do not have to be for money, but could be anything from a trip to the beach or a new computer game.
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