When it comes to spending in the marketplace, there's no doubt that the tween and teen set carry a lot of clout. In fact, children ages 17 and under are responsible for more than $830 billion in annual spending — prompting one company to design a mobile payment platform specifically for this age group.
According to a Finextra, Virtual Piggy, Inc. is working with Univest Bank & Trust Company and starting beta tests for the child-focused payment service known as OINK.com, giving kids ages 8–14 the ability to become direct buyers with full regulatory and parental controls built in.
"Virtual Piggy offers the ability for children to learn how to use the payment tools of the digital economy,” said John Coyne, CEO of Virtual Piggy. “Our technology will prepare a new generation for responsible financial management that will last into adulthood."
OINK.com will have a fully automated parental control system known as Instant Monitoring Parental Account Control Technology (IMPACT). It gives parents the ability to individualize the rules of engagement for their child's use of Virtual Piggy's payment system so they have more control over their children's spending, while also providing freedom for the child to shop on their own and learn financial discipline.
"Because we know all families are different, we recognize that parents have their own unique approach to teaching their children the importance of good financial management," Coyne explained in a press release. “So, rather than force parents into a pigeonholed environment with a finite set of options, we now provide a fully customized custom payment control system."
Virtual Piggy is finalizing the architecture in preparation for the beta testing, and its tech team and user experience (UX) partner, Red Interactive Agency of Santa Monica, California, have agreed on the scope of the first stage of the beta system test product, which is set to launch in April.