Till Financial, a collaborative family financial tool that empowers children to become smarter spenders, has been made available to all families. Till’s banking platform directly serves the 50 million pre-banked young people that represent over $400billion in buying power. Till’s mission is to make family finance conversational and collaborative by encouraging open and honest discussions between parents and their children. With a real bank account, digital and physical debit card, and goal-based savings, Till prepares young people for entry into the modern economy with the knowledge they need to be successful.
“Parents and the current banking options miss the point when they just focus on savings. We need to first prepare kids to be Smarter Spenders, supported by savings and investing,” said Taylor Burton, co-founder of Till. “ With Till, kids learn to spend with intention and purpose, while parents gain confidence and trust based on transparency and accountability. We offer this platform with no fee to all families—irrespective of socioeconomic status—because a kid’s first banking experience should not come with their first banking fee.”
Whether parents like it or not, as soon as children are handed a cell phone, they are entering the spending economy for the first time. Till respects young consumers by treating them like the economic actors that they are by putting spending power in their hands. This spending power is not just allowance dollars, but also the dollars that the family typically spends on their behalf—the “meet me at the register” dollars. On top of the dollars that children typically control today, Till gives families a trusted platform that allows the child to control a larger portion of the additional money usually spent for them by others.
When asked about the measures in place to make sure the accounts couldn’t be abused by irresponsible children, Burton said, “This is part of the problem we, as parents, have when it comes to supporting our kids’ financial literacy journey: we don’t give kids enough credit. We built Till to support all of the table stakes you would expect a collaborative family banking platform to have (ie spending control, transparent tracking, goal setting etc.). Till is different because we respect these young people as the financial actors they are.
“It’s our goal for families to take an open and collaborative approach to money, and for Till to help facilitate and guide that conversation.
“Parents are still the fiduciary on Till—ultimately, they are the ones who contribute money and work with their kids to teach them smart financial habits. This balance gives families a unique opportunity to prepare their kids to make solo financial decisions down the line.”
Burton further commented on what he hoped Till would achieve in the long term and how they would achieve their aims by saying: “Our first job is to become an integral part of millions of families everyday financial activities. We do this by building an engaging platform that delivers both economic and social value. Along the way, you will see Till add features that help parents and kids understand where they are on a financial journey and how their decisions can be rewarded by access to opportunities, experiences, and offerings. We already have requests from our users to increase the array of financial products we offer and once we get spending and saving nailed down, you will see expansion along this axis as well.
“We believe kids are major influencers on significant family decisions (cars, vacations, etc.) and should be given the opportunity to understand the responsibility that comes with these decisions.
“Till’s goal is to serve the 50million pre-banked kids in the US. Today, the available products serve less than 5% of this market.”
“As a society, we’re finally ready to talk about money with our children,” said Peggy Mangot, Operating Partner at PayPal Ventures. “What I love about Till is that they’ve incorporated proven functions and features to help families understand money together. It’s always a hassle to travel to a legacy bank’s branch to set up a teen bank account. Now, it’s convenient and modernised through Till’s platform. Till encourages families of all sizes to work together to create impactful financial wellness habits that will last long after the child leaves the household.”
Till’s over $5million in funding comes from institutional investors with a focus on fintech and the modern family, including Elysian Park Ventures, Pivotal Ventures with Magnify Ventures, Afore Capital, Luge Capital, Alpine Meridian Ventures, The Gramercy Fund, SM Ventures (Family office – Founders/Co-CEO’s of Stadium Goods) and Lightspeed Venture Partners (Scout Fund). Joining these funds are angels with experience in financial inclusion, retail, and education including the founders of Petal, the founders of Drizly, president of Transactis, and president of 1800Flowers.
“While the modern family unit is constantly changing, traditional family banking has not kept up with these changes,” said Joanna Drake, Founding Managing Partner of Magnify Ventures. “Till recognises that families come in all shapes and sizes, and provides a flexible platform that reflects today’s digital realities and how kids use technology. We invested because we see enormous potential for teaching kids, families and support systems of all income levels to learn smart spending together, ultimately leading to more fiscally responsible young adults.”
With evolving family structures and extended families spreading out across the country, this larger community still wants to take an active role in supporting things children care about. With Till, friends and families collaborate and coordinate their support of a child’s most audacious goals; from the birthday present they truly want to support a college plan, these community members are helping make those dreams possible. Till is building partnerships with a wide range of organisations and merchants to expand this idea of community.