3V brings out new pre-pay youth card

24 Feb 2012

View of the new 3V pre-pay youth card service

Irish electronic payments provider 3V has just launched a pre-pay youth card that’s aiming to be a type of money management service for teens, as parents can control and monitor how the card is used.

3V said it launched the chip-and-pin card after consulting with child protection groups in Ireland and the UK.

The company said the card offers a combination of features and controls that translate the teen card concept introduced by Visa into the first secure and marketable product in the youth market, specifically targeting teens aged 13-17.

Control features on the card include spending restrictions by merchant category so youths can’t use it for gambling or to attempt to buy alcohol, for instance.

Parents remain master account holder

3V said parents can buy the cards either online or in-store for their teens. Interestingly, the parent will remain the master account holder with the facility to maintain full account oversight and control of each card registered to that account.

The company has also enhanced its instant global card-to-card funds transfer service, so parents can make a transfer to ‘top up’ their teen’s card via the web, smartphone app or SMS.

For each card, parents can view balances and transactions, change account settings, set up customised SMS or email alerts for low balances or top-ups and transfers, and refund funds off cards. They can also invite a second parent or guardian to register to have view-only oversight of each card individually or all cards.

And once a teenager turns 18, he or she will become the exclusive account holder and have merchant restrictions lifted on his or her card without the need to issue a new card. When a cardholder reaches 16, he or she will also be given the option of becoming an account holder, subject to parental approval, said Kieron Guilfoyle, CEO of 3V.

Notification alerts will also be issued to the parent or guardian highlighting changes on the account to ensure there is no unauthorised access or use.

3V itself was set up in 2004. Based in Dublin, it also has offices in the UK, the Netherlands and the US. Its shareholders include Balderton Capital and Atlas Ventures, two of Europe’s largest venture funds.

The company operates in Ireland, the UK, the Netherlands, Spain, Canada and Germany, while it is also extending its footprint throughout Europe and North America.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic