In UAE, banks having realized the power of investing in our future generations, offer savings accounts specifically targeted towards children below the age of 18. Usually these accounts have the following features:
- Most banks have no or very low minimum balance requirement
- Usually banks provide better benefits for children’s accounts
- These accounts are operated by the guardian of the child
- Some banks offer debit cards for these accounts which might have restricted access
- Some banks offer a Takaful life cover for the guardian with the child being the beneficiary
- These accounts might be offered in foreign currencies too
Apart from the features listed above, the basic features of a savings account are applicable to these accounts as well. Despite the surge of e-banking and mobile-banking services, you might have to visit the branch on occasions. Ensure that you have one in your vicinity.
Various different terms may be included in a Childrens Account:
- Debit card annual charges : Some banks offer free for life debit cards, while some offer it free for the first year only.
- Unlimited usage of ATMs (including partner ATMs) : ATMs are where we withdraw most of our money from. Some banks offer unlimited ATM transactions. Even though the charges are minimal, they can add up to a big up over numerous withdrawals.
- Charges for non-maintenance of minimum balance : Children’s accounts usually carry a small minimum balance requirement. In case of non-maintenance of the same, charges can be levied to your account. These can vary from bank to bank.
- Withdrawal limits : Deposits are usually unlimited; however, withdrawals can be capped by an amount or number of transactions by banks.
Every bank has its own eligibility criteria which needs to be checked individually. However, some basic requirements are as follows:
- These accounts can be opened by children below the age of 18 with a guardian.
- Most banks allow UAE and non-UAE nationals both to open the account.
As is the case with eligibility, every bank can have its own requirement of documents to process your account application. Apart from the application form, some basic documents needed are:
- Original passport for verification along with a copy (of the guardian and child)
- Copy of the visa (of the guardian)
- Valid Emirates ID (of the guardian and child)
Please refer to the list of documents required by the bank you wish to open the children’s account with.
Most banks also offer children’s accounts under Islamic laws of banking approved by The Shariah and Supervisory Board. Some features of these accounts are:
- Most accounts are operated on the concept of Mudaraba. Your funds are invested in Shariah-compliant assets and the profits/losses are shared between you and the bank.
- Most banks offer free debit cards, internet banking, phone banking, SMS-banking and mobile banking services.
- Some banks offer special ATM cards for children (balance enquiry facility only)
- Usually, banks offer Islamic savings accounts in AED and USD.
Here is a look at a few banks that offer children’s account in UAE:
- Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) – Child Saver account
- Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) – Banoon Children’s savings account
- HSBC – HSBC Premier Children’s savings account
- National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) – First Step Savings account
- Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) – Shaatir savings account
- Commercial Bank International (CBI) – CBI Saver account
- National Bank of Oman (NBO) – Al Amaal Child savings account
- Sharjah Islamic Bank - Sharjah Islamic Bank Hassalati account
- Commercial Bank of Dubai (CBD) - CBD Mustaqbali Saving Scheme
- First Gulf Bank (FGB) - FGB Child First savings account
- Emirates Islamic – Emirates Islamic Child savings account
- Union National Bank – Al Ahbab account