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Digital Parents: Digital Money

Resources to Support Parenting in the Digital Age


WeChat makes life in China much easier. From communication and translating to bookings and shopping. Did you know that you can also use WeChat wallet to gift a ‘relative card’ to your child? This can allow your child to spend money to an agreed limit and will send you notifications when they use it.

Find out more…

Common Sense Media has an interesting article (with lots of comments) “Should I give my kids a virtual allowance?”. It focuses on in-app spending and iTunes, but opens up some discussion.


They also have reviews of two good apps for managing children’s allowances:

Setting Up WeChat Wallet Relative Cards

The Relative Card feature in WeChat:

  • Gives a child access to funds without risking your bank balance.
  • Allows you to set an upper monthly limit for a child’s spending.
  • Sends the parents a notification when payment is used (including vendor details).
  • Allows up to two children to have a Relative Card.


To set up the Relative Card (screenshots attached):

  1. Make sure the child’s WeChat wallet is activated.
  2. Go to WeChat Pay → Wallet
  3. Click on Relative Cards → Send → Child
  4. Select Child from your WeChat Contacts
  5. Set a monthly limit & Send

There is a User Guide in Chinese. The child can choose to spend using the Relative Card or regular WeChat wallet. This could be helpful in distinguishing between an allowance/spending money and emergency funds.

Screenshots from WeChat Wallet & Setting Up Relative Cards


WeChat Wallet

Relative Cards


User Guide in Chinese

Setting an UPPER limit.

Example notification


Note: the monthly limit is an UPPER value. You can also add funds to the child’s regular WeChat wallet, which might be used like an allowance. If they spend over the Wallet balance, money will be drawn from the Relative Card and you will get a notification. This could allow you to distinguish between ‘spending money’ and ‘emergency funds’.

You might need to update your app to enable this feature of WeChat. Recently there was a requirement to post pictures of yourself and ID for security. 

User Guide (Chinese)