There’s a new piggy bank in the payments market hoping to help teen shoppers, but you can’t crack this one open. It’s more of a modern-day piggy bank.
In an effort to target teen shoppers who are looking to take advantage of discounts so they can get the most out of their allowances, Virtual Piggy is hoping that its Oink prepaid debit card will facilitate responsible budgeting by teens as well as protecting their identity and giving parents peace of mind regarding their kids’ spending habits.
“Our goal is to have Oink be the payment option of choice, online or offline, for families worldwide,” said Dr. Jo Webber, CEO of Oink. “The Oink Card is the perfect complement to our digital product, giving teens a way to have more flexibility to use their personal account to shop in the real world, but still within parental limits and a secure environment where their personal information is protected.”
Oink is founded on the recognition that 50 percent of the money teens spend comes from their parents, and teens look for discount and loyalty programs in an effort to make that money last as long as possible. Oink helps out by working with top retailers such as Charlotte Russe, Sephora, PacSun, Volcom, Billabong, Target and Best Buy, to provide exclusive offers for card users, with future partnerships with gaming, toy, and action sports companies expected, according to the company website.
The actual card itself is a Discover-backed prepaid debit card that is the first of its kind to be COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act) compliant, ensuring the privacy and security of users’ information and limiting what can be shared without parental consent. The COPPA compliance also reduces the liability for merchants selling to children under the age of 13 online, which can result in hefty fines as well as costs associated with “friendly fraud,” according to Oink’s website. The card can be loaded by parents with specific budgets and allowances for emergency situations, as well as authorizing specific purchases to promote healthy budgeting habits, according to Webber. The accounts are managed in real-time online and on the mobile app.
Retail companies have shown an eagerness to attract to this young demographic with exclusive deals that can be delivered instantly. Back in January, American Eagle, a company noted for its teen-centric products and advertising, announced a program that uses Beacon technology to bring customers into the stores with deals that get sent once the customer is in a specific range of the outlet.