Innovation That Matters

Credit card alternative designed for teens


Handing over the car keys to a teen is probably one of the most terrifying acts a parent must perform, but next in line on the anxiety scale is surely handing over a credit card. Aiming to provide a safer alternative, BillMyParents gives parents the power to approve or deny any purchases by their teens before they’re made. Unlike facecard, which we wrote about last summer, BillMyParents is not simply a prepaid shopping card. Rather, it’s a payment method that puts control in parents’ hands. Teens do their online shopping at a participating online retail website—currently, only gift cards can be purchased, as the service is still being launched. When they check out using BillMyParents, their parents are notified of their requested purchase. Parents who approve of the purchase can then enter their credit card information to complete the transaction; otherwise, they can deny it and their teen will be automatically notified. Children never get access to their parents’ credit card information, and control remains squarely in parents’ hands. Offered by San Diego-based Socialwise, BillMyParents charges USD 0.50 per transaction—a small price to pay, one could argue, for a little peace of mind. Currently, however, it’s aimed only at US consumers. One to localize for your part of the world? (Related: Prepaid cab card: get home free.) Spotted by: Ozgur Alaz



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