The top ranked bank accounts for children have been unveiled, offering higher interest rates than most adult accounts.

CANSTAR research compared 55 bank accounts to decide which institution and account was the best for Kiwis under the age of 12, and teenage to 18-year-olds.

Winners were assessed on their level of financial education for account holders, school banking, content or resources for both schools and parents and how much of a head start children would gain.

ASB won the Junior Banking Award (12 and under) and Westpac claimed the Youth Banking Award.


"Those aged under 18, both kids and teenagers, can potentially earn up to 4 per cent on their savings if they are savvy about spending and saving," said CANSTAR New Zealand general manager Jose George.

"This compares to the top rate available on our database for adults of 3 per cent. There is obviously an advantage to financial institutions in attracting young customers."

School banking is also still standing strong, with CANSTAR research estimating that more than 870 schools are offering a programme, with thousands of educational workshops being run each year. Institutions are also offering good old-fashioned incentives in the form of higher interest rates -- certainly higher than what's on offer for parents.

Innovative games such as Westpac's Zombie Cash-Tastrophe and ASB's Getwise video playlist on YouTube are goldmines for children to access from any internet-connected device.

And with kids being very app-savvy, offerings such as Westpac's Cash Critter app or Kids Count Money NZ are great for learning and making saving fun.

"ASB offers a winning combination of competitive interest rates and terrific educational tools -- both online and in-school," Mr George said.

"They offer a comprehensive offering of financial education workshops for both primary and secondary students and last year managed to conduct a total of 4134 workshops in New Zealand schools.

"The online tools are also comprehensive; the Getting Kids Started website makes it easy to navigate ASB's products and educational resources designed for parents and kids beginning to learn about money.

"Getting kids engaged with saving and developing that engagement into a habit is one of the most important factors at a young age."

Westpac aimed at making the transition from junior to youth as easy as possible, offering outstanding value savings for their first job or nearing graduation.

Other contenders were ANZ Bank, BNZ, Kiwibank, and TSB.