Every parent wants to impart core values and basic life skills to their kids.

Yet many families avoid one of the most important topics — money.

Many teens end up navigating this financial world on their own. And, despite a new wave of mobile-first banks that are moving the world deeper into digital payments, most teens are still stuck in an analog, cash-based ecosystem. To solve this problem, we believe teens deserve their own digital financial products, which are designed entirely for their needs.

This is why I’m excited to announce our investment in Step, an all-in-one banking solution built specifically for teens.

With a looming student debt crisis, deep cuts to financial literacy education, and a dearth of tools to teach healthy financial habits, it’s no surprise that 87% of teenagers say they know little to nothing about managing money. Yet they spent close to $260 billion in 2018, and 59% of teenagers will receive an allowance with a combined income of over $90 billion. Aware of these challenges, Step is setting the path for teenagers’ financial independence by offering tools to help families instill responsible behaviors of spending and saving.

On one end, Step allows parents to open their child’s first bank account in minutes and offers a combined checking and savings account, along with their very own secured spending card. On the other, Step gives parents the tools to monitor and manage spending habits – setting spending boundaries and limits, enabling controls over merchants and categories, providing deep spending analytics, allowance deposits, emergency transfer capabilities, and a parent-guided secured spending card. By empowering parents with easy to use tools, Step enables kids to develop responsible savings habits – from setting goals and a clear approach to achieving those goals, to rewards for consistent saving and responsible spending.

One of our core themes at Collaborative is supporting values-aligned brands that can define a generation. Now, more than ever, we need products that drive financial literacy and sound money habits in a generation that soon will represent 40% of consumers in the US. As the first bank built for teenagers, we believe Step has the opportunity to become a defining brand for the next generation.