Pocket Money
Philippe Guinaudeau

Philippe Guinaudeau

Pocket Money in France

Pocket money is a widely observed sociocultural activity that occurs to some extent in many countries worldwide. The piggy bank has become an icon, a vessel in which children have stored coinage retrieved from anywhere they can find it for centuries! 

However, in our digital age, there are major signs that piggy banks – or other physical means of storing pocket money – are on the way out. Instead, pocket money now is going digital and so are its related markets and purchases. In France, we can see some major signs of this trend as we can in other countries. Also, we have observed that children who are the heaviest digital users tend to receive the most pocket money of all those measured.

What pocket money do children get across the globe?

Pocket money varies hugely worldwide both in prevalence and value. In countries where more children receive pocket money, the value of that is also often higher but not always. For example, Saudi Arabia takes the top spot with 93% of children receiving pocket money with an average monthly value of €41.50. Turkey and South Africa follow, though interestingly, despite the widespread nature of pocket money in South Africa, the value is very low. 

Contrastingly, some countries, like Denmark, have a relatively low prevalence of pocket money giving but the kids that do receive tend to get high monthly values. The USA sits towards the top in both % of kids receiving pocket money and monthly value and it’s perhaps no surprise that the pocket money market in the USA is easily the biggest in the world, exceeding €10 billion.

How much pocket money do children in France receive?

32% of children between 4 – 6 receive pocket money in France but this rockets to 70% amongst 7 – 11 year-olds forming an average of 56% kids overall that receive pocket money with an average monthly value of €15.3.

European countries occupy the middle of the table with the UK and Germany giving the highest values of pocket money to the most kids – between 79% to 80% of kids receive €22 to €26 a month. 

Down the scale we find France who’s parents give a moderate amount of pocket money compared to other European countries measured. Fewer kids receive pocket money than Italy, UK, Spain and Germany, and the average value is also the lowest of all countries in Europe except for Poland. The pocket money market in France each year is roughly €795 million, roughly half of that in the UK – around €1.5 billion. This is still considerable and not too far below the European average. 

Pocket Money France 2019

The Characteristics of Pocket Money in France

So what types of kids get what levels of pocket money? Interestingly, there is a very strong trend indicating that digital users get more pocket money than non-digital users. In fact, 70% of heavy digital users receive pocket money vs 40% of non-digital users. It is quite clear that the more digitally engaged a child is in France, the more pocket money they receive. 

There are two explanations for this, digital use may be correlative with higher wealth and parents are more likely to give money to their kids or that digital users receive more money in the form of in-app or in-game purchases and pay-to-play content. 

The other category that receives high pocket money in France are collectors, kids who enjoy collecting products from small quantities of brands. This may result in more regular purchases to keep collections going, keep up with new releases, etc. Parents may be keener to facilitate this when they are helping their child collect their favorite toys or products and thus, tend to give more pocket money. 

Stats worldwide are showing that pocket money is digitizing as parents are expected to spend more online than ever before, paying for their children to access premium content and France seems to follow this. A British study showed that app purchases and gaming content had risen sharply to occupy more of the pocket money market than ever before. Parents are even forgoing normal cash payments to top up their children’s bank accounts and other digital accounts instead. One poll suggested some 34% of parents had decided to give digital pocket money instead of cash. 

What does it mean?

There is perhaps greater pressure on parents than ever to ensure their children have a quality experience online. Kids are engaging with streaming content more than ever before, for example, 30 – 50% of 7 – 11-year-olds watch Netflix at least once a day. With Disney + and Amazon Prime Video, it’s likely that many kids have more than 1 active subscription. 

Smartphone ownership also increases the likelihood of purchases. 50% of kids own smartphones by 11 and it’s likely that amongst these kids, you can find digital users that require regular financial assistance from parents for in-app purchases and other premium content. 

How Does Pocket Money Affect the Market?

As child experiences migrate online, so does the pocket money market. For marketing, advertising and licensing, this data is indicative of where the market is going – digital. Digital platforms are filtering down to children and their parents who now, after centuries of cash gifts, are turning to digital pocket money. 

Digital pocket money is naturally spent online and therefore, the market for children’s pocket money is focussed on digital content, brands born on the internet, and brands with a digital presence. There are many ranging from streaming brands such as Netflix and Disney + with the many franchises they host to games like Fortnite. 

Pocket Money France 2019

Key take-aways

The French pocket money market is certainly an opportunity for retailers, especially in the digital space. What are the key take-aways from our findings?

  • Fewer French children receive less pocket money than in most countries in Europe
  • The highest receivers of pocket money in France are digital users  
  • Kids who spend more time online or engaged with digital platforms spend more pocket money. This may be associated with affluence or it may simply be that parents lose track of money when they have to pay for subscriptions 

For more information take a look at our Pocket Money France Report. In the report, you’ll find the full statistical overview of pocket money in France. This will help you engage with retail, marketing and advertising strategies that operate around the pocket money market. Pocket money creates a large market on its own, and it doesn’t even include gift buying, Christmas, etc. Knowing what kids spend their regular money on is absolutely crucial to your business – don’t miss out!

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