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The payment card boom for teens

“Cash is no longer necessarily suitable for purchasing by young people,” says Marie Degrand-Guillaud, Deputy Director of Nickel. jackSTAR / Cultura / Photononstop / jackSTAR / Cultura / Photononstop

Are young French people banking “Tanguy”? This is what a 2016 Exton Consulting study suggests, pointing out that three-quarters of 16-29 year olds have kept the family establishment. “We still inherit the bank from our parents”, deplores Scott Gordon, who launched in September 2019 a neobank for teenagers, Kard. However, is the situation about to change? This is what this entrepreneur, who claims 50,000 customers, hopes, but also the founders of two banking tools for minors – Xaalys, created in April 2019, and Pixpay, launched in November.

These young shoots with a positioning that is almost 100% mobile provide teens with a “systematic authorization” Mastercard – the account is queried for each transaction, impossible to spend more money than they have. Withdrawals and payments appear in real time on the account balance, useful for tracking your budget. And, in case of emergency, the account can be funded instantly, for example by bank card.

More or less strict parental control

At Xaalys and Pixpay, parents and children co-manage the card, each with their own application, called “mirror apps”. “The parent can consult the child's operations, set daily spending limits, prohibit withdrawals, block certain types of payment, for example online or contactless, or even sectors, such as clothing or catering. He also decides if he wants to be notified of account movements “, explains Diana Brondel, founder of Xaalys.

Pixpay even allows parents to block the card in specific establishments, for example if they do not want their teen to have lunch at the fast-food restaurant near the college … “The idea is to configure the application according to your wishes and the degree of maturity of the teenager”, says Caroline Ménager, Pixpay's marketing director.

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In terms of configuration, Kard, which is aimed more at big teens, has a different approach from its two competitors. “Our speech is not centered on parental control but on the empowerment of adolescents, says Mr. Gordon. Since pocket money is used mainly to prepare for financial take-off, excessive parental control would be counterproductive. With us, the parent does not have their own app. He has access to a web portal through which he can block the account, check the balance and send money to the child on a regular or ad hoc basis, but it is the card holder who sets it himself. “

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