Venmo targets young consumers and parents with new teen bills and debit cards

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Venmo announced today that it is introducing Teen Accounts, which allows parents and legal guardians to open a Venmo account for their teens so they can send and receive money. The account, which has no monthly fees, also comes with a Venmo Teen Debit Card. Each Venmo Teen account is connected to and managed by a parent’s personal Venmo account, but the teen account has a separate balance from the parent account.

The Venmo Teen Account allows parents to track transactions, manage privacy settings, and send money to their teen. Teens can track their own expenses in the Venmo app and may be eligible for direct deposits, for example, allowing money to be deposited directly into the Venmo Teen Account from an after-school job.

Parents can choose whether to give their teens access to the Venmo app. They can view the balance and transaction history of the Venmo Teen Account, manage the Teen Debit Card PIN, lock and unlock the debit card, view their friend list, and block users from interacting with the account. Parents can monitor up to five Venmo Teen accounts from their personal Venmo account. While parents can’t block their teens’ payments, they are automatically notified.

It’s worth noting that teens can’t access some of the features that come with a standard Venmo account, such as crypto. Venmo says it currently has no plans to add additional functionality for teen accounts, such as savings accounts or budgeting tools.

“Venmo is a natural place for teens to learn how to manage money responsibly, especially considering that 86% of Gen Z are interested in using an app to learn about personal finances,” says Erika Sanchez , Vice President and General Manager at Venmo, in a statement. “For parents or legal guardians, the Venmo Teen Account allows them to give their teens some financial flexibility while providing parental controls and insight into their teens’ spending habits.”

Venmo's new teen bank account on a phone next to a debit card

Image Credits: Venmo

The company says research shows that more than 45% of Gen Z would rather have a conversation with an adult to learn about personal finances, and that more than 50% of parents are interested in using an app to teach their children about money management. Venmo says the Teen Debit Card and Venmo Teen Account can help parents and their teens build money management skills together.

For starters, parents need to sign up for a Venmo Teen account on behalf of their teen. They can do this by going to the “Me” screen in the Venmo app, tapping their name in the top left corner, and then selecting “Create a teen account” from the drop-down menu. Parents can select a teen debit card color and enter information about their teen, such as name, date of birth, and address

It’s worth noting that Venmo seems to have been planning this launch for quite some time. In 2020, Venmo was spotted prototyping a new feature that would allow adult users to open a debit card for their teens linked to their account.

Delving into teen banking allows the company to come up with a new reason for adults to sign up for Venmo. The service is already a popular way for younger people to split the bill for things like Uber rides or dinner, so it makes sense for the company to bring social banking to a teen demographic. However, Venmo is late to market for teen debit cards. Startups like Greenlight and Step let parents manage teen expenses on special debit cards.

The Venmo Teen account is rolling out to select customers next month and will be available everywhere in the coming weeks.

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