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Apps, pools, parental controls… Bank cards for teens screened

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Avoid having your child go to class or to the movies with liquid that he could lose or be robbed. Allow him to pay online. Give him access to money in case of a glitch for his class trips or with friends. Train him to manage a budget in a paperless way. There are several reasons why an adolescent may be equipped with a withdrawal and payment card.

From 11 or 12 years old, traditional banks traditionally offer children of their customers a “package”, say, reduced – cheaper than their adult formula, often between 12 and 24 euros per year, and generally endowed with, instead of the classic Visa or Mastercard, a card with systematic authorization (the account balance will be consulted at each transaction to avoid overdrafts).

But parents can also now go knocking on the “e-door” of neobanks (almost 100% on smartphones) specifically designed for teens. Pixpay, Kard, Xaalys: three were launched in 2019 and a fourth, Vybe, is due to launch in late February.

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These offers, all of which are also based on cards with systematic authorization, are designed for minors, with innovative functionalities that are regularly improved and supplemented – extensive parental control, chat, prize pools, etc. If they differ from each other, in their philosophy and their proposals, they have in common to allow real-time updating of the account balance: the teenager does not need to wait several days to see his operations on its app, a real plus when you learn to manage a budget. If the child has a smartphone, it goes without saying …

Which card should you choose in the face of the flourishing offerings? It all depends on how the teenager uses it, on his age, on his needs. And also, or even above all, the degree of parental control desired. Because in terms of children's money, dematerialization and technological innovations allow of course a “tracing” of their expenses and actions, much more effective than the good old pocket money in cash allows. With this in mind, some of the cards will respond to the need for strict supervision and supervision by certain parents, while others grant them less scrutiny – an approach which will speak more particularly to those who consider the card. banking as an educational tool, to gradually teach children to manage their budget independently. We have screened seven products.

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