Socialwise launches e-commerce payments system for children

Socialwise launches e-commerce payments system for children

E-commerce outfit SocialWise has launched a system that enable children to make purchases online by "billing" their parents.

The BillMyParents service lets children mark items they want to buy by clicking a button next to it on participating e-commerce and social networking sites.

Parents are then notified via e-mail or text message and, if they choose to, make the purchase with their credit card. The child and retailer do not have access to card information.

The company has not yet signed partnership agreements with online retailers to integrate the technology but has set up its own BillMyParents site powered by Amazon. The site gives children access to the entire inventory available on Amazon without needing a credit card to make purchases.

It has also struck deals with online gaming sites and social network applications targeted at children, including Artix Entertainment, Habbo, Outspark and RockYou!

Meanwhile, a social network shopping application lets children track their purchase requests made with BillMyParents on sites like Facebook and MySpace. Users' friends can see recent purchases and rate products from a dashboard on their social network profiles.

Socialwise claims that out of more than $132 billion spent annually by "youth", $40 billion is spent offline on products researched online. Lack of a credit card is cited by 40% of teens as the reason why they don't buy online.

James Collas, CEO, Socialwise, says: "The online teen spending market is hugely underserved and BillMyParents is uniquely poised to tap into the desire for teens to be able to shop online, while still letting parents maintain control in a safe and secure environment."

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