What Happened to Dollarmites?

Do you remember school banking day and the yellow Dollarmites books. For many Australians this was part of school. But the Dollarmites program no longer exists. Here’s why it was shut down:

What Happened to Dollarmites

What Was Dollarmites

Dollarmites was a school banking program run by The Commonwealth Bank of Australia where students could deposit money into their youth bank account through the school.

Students could open a “Youthsaver” account, and schools would often host “Dollarmites Day” where students could deposit their savings into their accounts.

Students would receive a yellow banking case that students would place their savings into and it would be handed in at school.

Why Did Dollarmites Stop?

ASIC conducted a review into Dollarmites and found that although School banking programs claimed they helped children develop long term saving habits, there was no evidence of this. They also found that children were being exposed to sophisticated marketing tactics.

This review led to many states ending the school banking programs.

The reality is that many people were uncomfortable with the big banks being involved with schools and being able to essentially “lock-in” a customer at a very young age. If you had a youth saver account in school, you would essentially get an Everyday transaction account without any monthly fees when you turned 18.

When Did Dollarmites Stop?

The Commonwealth Bank ended the Dollarmites school banking program in 2021.

Do Dollarmites Accounts Still Exist?

Students are still able to open a youth account with Commonwealth Bank and it still doesn’t have a monthly fee. The only difference is there is no longer a school program where students can deposit change via the Yellow Banking Books. Commonwealth Bank now offers a resource called Beanstalk with financial information for kids.

What Do You Think?

What do you think, should the states have banned school banking programs? Should it be replaced with a program where students can choose their own bank with a similar deposit scheme? Let me know in the comments.

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