Copper Banking is a completely new banking platform that is specifically designed for teens to learn more about their finances. Check out the features, pros, and cons of Copper Banking in our comprehensive review.
Copper is an online-only bank and digital payments platform designed for teens and parents. It gives teens firsthand experience in banking and debit card usage. Parents will get the ability to monitor their teens’ spending as well. For more information on this platform, continue reading below.
What is Copper Banking?
Headquartered in Seattle, WA, Copper began their multimillion dollar journey ins seed funding for PSL Ventures, Western Technology Investment, Mana Ventures, and Snap creator Jack Brody.
They were created in 2019 by co-founders Eddie Behringer and Stefan Berglund. This pair saw an opportunity to educate teens in financing because traditional education doesn’t teach them this. They went out to teach teens financial literacy, smart spending, and budgeting for the future.
Copper isn’t independently owned, rather they are actually a fintech company powered by SynapseFi, a partner of Evolve Bank & Trust. The app works by using behavioral psychology to help teens build smart financial habits such as saving, and offers rewards to them to learn about how banks and money functions.
For example, once you download and open the app, you can take a short quiz about checking accounts. Once completed, you receive a $2.00 reward.
How Copper Works
In order to sign up with Copper, teens must get permission from their parents before opening an account and receiving a debit card. Parents then can set up recurring allowances, monitor spending and send instant money transfers to their teen’s account.
Besides parental supervision, Copper Banking functions like many digital-only banks, such as Chime and Ally. Customers can use the encrypted app to view balances and transfer money to family and friends directly from their account, just like Venmo or PayPal. Additionally, teens receive a debit card just like any other checking account with the ability to use Apple Pay at participating locations.
Copper integrates digital banking with financial education. Get to the know the features they have to offer below.
- Set up alerts to be notified when your teen makes a purchase
- Monitor account activity in the app
- Send and request funds between your teen’s Copper account and your linked checking account
- Create recurring deposits to your teen’s account for monthly allowance, chore payments, etc.
Purchases Made Easy
- Use the debit card anywhere Mastercard is accepted
- Purchase goods and services online or at retail locations
- Enjoy Apple Pay for convenient one-click purchases
- Withdraw cash with zero fees at over 55,000 MoneyPass and Allpoint ATM locations
Keep Spending Under Control
- $500 daily ATM withdrawal limit
- $2,000 daily spending limit
- $2,000 monthly load limit
How To Open a Copper Account
This account is eligible for teens that are 13-years-old and over. However, the account must be activated first by a parent or guardian who is at least 18 years and older with a valid Social Security number or tax identification nyumber.
Both parties must also be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or hold a valid long-term visa. Lastly, parents must have an existing checking account to link to Copper.
Follow these steps to open an account:
- Download the Copper app and enter their phone number
- Enter the unique verification code
- Invite a parent or guardian, who will grant permission
- Enter the address where their debit card should be delivered and the SSN for identity verification
- Use a virtual card on the Copper App to make purchases while you wait for your debit card to arrive
Pros and Cons of Copper
- Financial education via quizzes and short videos
- Zero fees, no minimum balance requirements, or overdraft charges
- Instant transfers from the parent’s linked checking account
- Earn rewards by inviting friends and completing objectives
- Parental supervision — use the app to monitor and review account activity
- Fraud protection using Mastercard Zero Liability Protection
- Low interest rate — while teens do earn interest on balances, the APY of 0.01% leaves something to be desired
- Customer service — the contact number on Copper’s website connects you with SynapseFi, which may or may not be able to answer Copper-specific questions; a chat box is also currently unavailable
- No foreign transactions are allowed, so many online retailers will be unavailable
Fees To Watch Out For
Although Copper doesn’t charge any fees, there are two external fees to keep your eye on.
- Out-of-network ATM fees — ATM withdrawals can be made at any Allpoint or MoneyPass ATM location free of charge, but these may be difficult to find in some areas and you may be charged a fee by out-of-network operators
- Cash deposit fees — Copper does not charge cash deposit fees; however, processors such as GreenDot will likely charge a fee of up to $4.95 per deposit (granted, this will rarely, if ever, be encountered since direct deposits can be made from the parent’s linked checking account)
How To Contact Customer Service
Teens and parents can contact Copper Banking customer service by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or within the app under “Support” in the settings menu.
Copper’s website also hosts an FAQ page, where you can access answers to common questions regarding security and privacy, adding and transferring funds, managing your account, using the card, and getting started.
How They Compare
|Bank||Minimum Deposit||Out-of-Network ATM Fee||Debit Card||Monthly Fee||Transaction Limits|
|Step Bank||$0||N/A||Yes||$0||$1,000 debit
$500 Google Pay / Apple Pay
|Axos Bank First Checking||$50||$0||Yes||$0||$500 debit
If you would like to teach your teens how money works, consider using Copper! The app allows complete parental control, while your child gets to experience what it is like to earn and spend money.
(Click here to learn more at Copper)
*View the best student checking accounts here.*