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Former Saatchi & Saatchi vice chairman Graham Thompson to launch banking initiative for kids Join SAM

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By Gillian West, Social media manager

February 5, 2013 | 2 min read

Ex Saatchi & Saatchi vice-chairman Graham Thompson is launching Join SAM, a UK-based digital money box for kids and their families.

Join SAM aims to be a place where money can be saved, where kids can earn money to increase their savings and, at the same time, learn about money. The Beta launch in February was made possible by $1 million from angel investors, and though Join SAM will initially be using the UK as a test-bed come April 2013 the next stage will launch, with additional features and personalisation by age group.

Explaining the concept of the product, Thompson said: “Join SAM was born from the need to start saving for our own children. Ian Wilding (also a co-founder) and I have youngsters and both experienced the same thing when it came to saving for their future: banks simply act as repositories for money, offering little or no engagement, and in all honesty, very little enthusiasm for having our priceless kids as customers.

“It occurred to us that our kids weren’t getting any kind of interaction or education around money…a daunting concept when considering the recessionary environment they’re growing up in. We wanted to create something that empowered kids to save, to be smart with money, and to help them understand the responsibilities that go with it.”

Wilding added that Join SAM would be a wholly digital experience and will offer members “something new and different”.

Youngsters using the site will have their own moneybox to save funds in with SAM, the site’s avatar on hand to help. Reward badges can be earned by completing various tasks and occasionally users will be able to earn monetary rewards for ‘good money behaviour’.

Users will also be able to create their own ‘Cashback Shop’ to boost their moneybox savings whenever friends or family shop from there for items they would be buying anyway. The site also has a ‘Wish List’ function for users to save up for new toys or gadgets they want to buy, teaching them about the value of money and that rewards or treats need to be earned.

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