Seattle Startup ChorePay Drags Childhood Allowance Into the Digital Age

By Amanda Zurita June 11, 2012 Published in the July 2012 issue of Seattle Met

Gone are the days of filling piggy banks with nickels earned via allowance. Now kids make serious cash—an average of $20 a week, according to Jeremy Jacola, chief operating officer of Seattle startup ChorePay, an online financial tool for household chore management.

In fact, all hard currency for around-the-house tasks will be a thing of the past if ChorePay has its way. The free website—and associated smartphone app—allows parents to assign jobs on a chore calendar. Kids log in, complete the tasks, and check them off. Funds are then automatically transferred from the parents’ bank account and converted into ChoreBucks that the kids can save, donate, or redeem for iPods, video games, and more in the online mall—all without ever actually seeing a dollar. In the age of virtual currency, this tool is preparing youngsters for life without greenbacks—under the watchful eye of an adult, of course.

Future plans include working directly with schools, zero-dollar chores with behavioral rewards like TV time, and integration with video game consoles that will require kids to check off their chores before being able to play.

Naturally, Jacola has his own five-year-old son on the plan. “But the funny thing is,” the ChorePay COO explains, “when I ask him to do things that are outside his chore list he will say, ‘Dad, is that a chore?’

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