Snippet: The piggy bank has been a symbol of saving for years. The term itself is actually much older than the farmyard shape we are familiar with today, deriving from “pygg” a kind of clay used to make Europe’s first money jars in the Middle Ages.

The piggy bank has been a symbol of saving for years. The term itself is actually much older than the farmyard shape we are familiar with today, deriving from “pygg” a kind of clay used to make Europe’s first money jars in the Middle Ages. Most children probably don’t know that, but they nonetheless learn a lot from the piggy bank. It is a good start to understanding that money has a value and that saving it has long-term benefits.

Kids are not the only ones to learn from collecting paper bills and metal coins. Families living on a very limited income are reminded by the physical currency they carry just how much – or how little – they can spend. Spending seems easier when it’s a matter of digital ones and zeros.

As the world is moving to digital payment systems, it’s not difficult to imagine that the acceptance of coins and bills will decline. Computers and smartphones are replacing coins and bills. We are already so used to having access to our financial accounts and payment services through a personal device that we carry with us. The smartphone has become the new bank branch. This is especially true in parts of Europe like the Netherlands.

New payment innovations have also created lower entry points to electronic payment systems for merchants. Peer-to-peer payment options offered by, for instance, PayPal, Square, and Snapchat, make a POS machine at the till look redundant. What will the future look like when you no longer hand your son or daughter a Euro to buy a cup of milk with their lunch at school?

Our “digitally native” children find transacting digitally quite natural. For them, the feeling of money in a wallet or pocket is gone and the mental link to value unclear. How do parents teach them to comprehend the value of a digital Euro coin and educate them in personal finance?

The solution probably lies in downloading applications to their mobiles that simulate or gamify the experience of handling money, or that allow them to work with small amounts of pocket money. A challenge lies ahead for parents, schools, and social workers. For banks and app developers, there are opportunities in digitizing the lessons we learned from the piggy bank.

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Claudius van der Meulen

SVP EUROPE

Claudius manages Entersekt’s European business from our offices in the Netherlands. He’s a seasoned salesperson with two decades’ experience working in information technology at companies like Sun Microsystems and ACI Worldwide, and has been fundamental to our success in the region.

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Entersekt is an innovator of customer-centric fintech solutions. Financial services providers and other enterprises rely on our patented mobile identity system to provide both security and the best in convenient new digital experiences to their customers, irrespective of the service channel. With us, they can concentrate on their innovation roadmap, while delivering intuitive, low-friction digital experiences to their customers.