Thanks to credit cards for kids, lunch money is an interesting subject again

A number of startups -- including Greenlight and Mitto -- are developing debit cards specifically for kids.


September 17, 2019

Capitalizing on the idea that it’s never too early to teach children about money, a slew of startups is offering kids access to cold, hard plastic.

Greenlight got greenlit… by Series B investors

The fintech startup just hauled in $54m from big-money players including Drive Capital, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo. Founded in 2014, Greenlight is a card/app combo that lets kids spend and save independently… under parental supervision.

It works like this: Junior gets a preloaded debit card and a companion app that lets him check balances, set savings goals, ask the ’rents for more money, and receive alerts when said money lands. 

Parents get an app of their own to check in on the kid’s spending, schedule recurring allowance payments, make one-time deposits, set limits on spending categories and — if little Icarus flies too close to the sun — shut the whole thing down. Fees are $5/month.

And there are plenty of other companies digitizing the piggy bank

Backed by Spanish bank Banco Sabadell, a startup called Mitto makes a similar product designed to teach Generación Zeta financial literacy: The company has 150k registered users and a waitlist of 80k more.

In the UK, kid card issuers include GoHenry or Osper. And back in the US of A, Current and Step are giving Greenlight a run for its, er, money.

The kids are all right… or, at least, not worse than you were

Surveys show that many a Boomer has bailed out an adult child — and now that those adult children are having children of their own, they’re looking to help their progeny be smarter about spending.

Although early iterations of the kid card were viewed as potentially predatory, recently launched kid cards have been careful to include educational resources related to personal finance, investing, and charitable giving in their apps.

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