British company PKTMNY Thursday launched a prepaid debit card that targets children as young as 8 years old. The PKTMNY Visa-branded card will enable children to spend preloaded funds at select shops and to withdraw cash. Parents have the ability to place varying levels of control on the card, and the card cannot be used to purchase products like alcohol and tobacco.
The company, set up by parents, believes starting at a young age will help children manage money more effectively in the increasingly plastic payments environment.
From The Guardian:
Mark Timbrell, the company’s founder says, “As a parent I know just how difficult it is to teach children about money, especially as the school curriculum focuses on using cash and visiting banks, neither of which reflect how children see money being used.”
The card does not come without costs though. It requires a £5 ($8) membership fee and a further £1 ($1.6) monthly fee and costs for withdrawing from an ATM range from 50p ($.80) in the UK to £2 ($3.2) when withdrawing cost from foreign ATMs. Although the PKTMNY card has competitors for prepaid cards aimed at young people including MeCard and Splash, no one has allowed holders to be younger than 13 before.
From experiences here in the United States, the likelihood that the PKTMNY card will make significant inroads in the UK payment marketplace is low. To date, the cards have had mixed results, becoming more a niche product and not becoming widely used. Since the PKTMNY card is innovative in its ambitions to target younger children, following its success will be interesting to see if the payments market moves to tap into younger children or the card remains somewhat unique.
Click here to read more from The Guardian.