The French fintech startup PixPay is offering a new alternative for kids and their parents to manage money, instead of cash or a conventional bank account.
Unlike with most other digital challenger banks such as Revolut, kids 10 years and up can create an account with PixPay, according to TechCrunch.
Often, conventional banks do little to meet the needs of younger clients, leaving them to depend on cash handed directly from parents. But this doesn’t allow for online purchases, and fails to prepare teens for an economy that is increasingly moving toward cashless transactions. Carrying cash also carries the risk of loss or theft, a source of concern for parents.
But giving teens the tools to engage in digital commerce can create risks for inexperienced teen users, and even open the door to fraud. Digital startups like PixPay see a market for a middle ground that allows parents to monitor and control their teen’s activity.
With PixPay, the app is downloaded by both a child or teen and their parent, with a debit card sent to the user. The app allows for customized PIN codes, locking and unlocking use of the card, transaction notifications, spending limits, and restrictions on withdrawals, online purchases, and other functions.
PixPay also tracks spending, allowing parents to monitor activity, and helping teens learn how to manage their budgets.
Parents can choose to provide a regular deposit, a one-time payment for young users, or even assign “missions,” such as chores, in exchange for money. Parents will be able to view an overview of multiple accounts for several children, and the app will eventually allow multiple parents to manage a child’s account, in cases of separation or divorce.
The startup raised €3.1 million from Global Founders Capital earlier this year. With 30 million teenagers in Europe, the startup sees a wide market for its services.
The services will cost €2.99 monthly per card, with a 2 percent exchange cost for foreign currencies and €2 for withdrawals from ATMs outside the Eurozone.
The startup was founded by MonDocteur co-founders Benoit Grassin and Nicolas Klein, and Caroline Ménager, all of whom are parents themselves.
Last year, UK mobile bank Starling began offering accounts to 16 and 17-year-olds, in an effort to meet growing demand. Another French startup, Lydia, offers accounts for users as young as 14, if they provide parental consent.