America Online is offering prepaid, reloadable debit cards for teenagers, which their parents control by setting spending limits and monitoring purchases.
The AOL Cash Cards Program is being introduced with the company's AOL 9.0 Optimized service, which is due out later this quarter.
The debit cards have been developed in partnership with Visa USA and carry no annual fee. Users who sign up will receive a Visa Buxx Cash Card, which looks like a normal Visa card and can be used for purchases as well as for cash withdrawals cash machines.
The card draws from a fixed amount of money that parents load on the card or from a bank account. Parents can access their teens' purchase and transaction histories online through the AOL service.
While AOL says that the programme is a good way for parents to teach young people about money management, as well as encouraging teenagers to shop online.
The programme will be available for AOL members with teenagers aged 13 and above who have screen names on AOL 9.0 Optimized.
Scarlet Pruitt writes for IDG News Service