Visa had rolled out a transaction card and identification document for British children. Called VisaCitizenCard, the plastic money allows the loading of money in a prepaid card for use in daily transactions.
It also includes the photograph and date of birth of the cardholder, which Visa launched in Britain in July.
While it could be used for payment in online and bricks-and-mortar outlets, it could not be used as a credit card. Application fee is about $20 but the card has no monthly or yearly account-keeping charges.
With the date of birth included on the VisaCitizenCard, it facilitates verification of the age of the buyer for restricted items such as cigarettes and liquor. That is made possible by a specific code on the card, common among cards for users under 18, which prohibits the holders from illegal purchases and services.
By starting the habit of swiping plastic money, banks as well as retailers are hopeful the young consumers would develop a card-purchasing habit that will help boost the bottomline of card-issuers and merchants.
"If you can get kids (with a product) they'll probably stay with the bank for a lifetime, the children are the heartland group of banking institutions," New Republique spokesman Nima Yassinia said. New Republique is a digital strategy agency.
Tracey Bleakley, chief executive of Personal Finance Education Group, a finance education charity in Britain, said by acquiring financial confidence at a young age, it would help make young people make the right decision about spending and saving.
CitizenCard Chief Exeutive Andrew Chevis said there is no immediate plan to market the card in Australia, but Mr Yassini said other digital purchasing options such as mobile wallet apps of smartphone may attract more the younger generation compared to plastic money which may be identified more as products used by their parents.
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