Visa USA is rolling out a parent-controlled, re-loadable payment card designed to help parents provide spending money for teens. The Visa Buxx card comes with a range of parental controls including pre-determined spending values, online transaction monitoring and a parent-administered financial skills assessment test. The new card is expected to be issued by a number of banks in the coming weeks and months.
The Visa Buxx card looks and works like a traditional Visa card with a magnetic stripe and the cardholder's name embossed on the card. The card may be used for purchases anywhere Visa is accepted, including online and at ATM machines. However, each Visa Buxx transaction draws from a limited amount of funds that parents set aside in advance in a dedicated account. Parents can apply for the card, load funds on the card and track teen spending entirely through the Internet at www.visabuxx.com.
According to recent polls conducted by Visa, parents provide teens with more than 70 percent of their spending money. At the same time, teens rely most on their parents for financial guidance.
Initially, parents will apply for the Visa Buxx card online; eventually, says Visa, paper-based applications will also be made available at bank branches and via banks' direct mail effort. The card welcome kit is mailed directly to the parents' address.
Once the card is activated, parents can load, re-load, and/or unload the card with any amount of money by phone or online access. The value of the card is predetermined by the parent. Parents are able to monitor how much money their children spends by viewing current or past account statements on the Visa Buxx Web site or by a toll-free number that details where and when purchases were made.
The Visa Buxx Web site will be operational on August 14.