UK startup Osper is promising to reinvent banking for young people through a new prepaid card and mobile app-based service.
Aimed at the UK's seven million eight to 18 year olds, Osper was founded by former maths teacher and M-Pesa staffer Alick Varma as a way to give children financial freedom and encourage them to take responsibility for their money.
The firm has raised over $10 million in pre-launch funding from investors including Index Ventures, Horizons Ventures and Travelex CEO Peter Jackson.
Kids get a prepaid MasterCard card which they can use for online and in-store purchases, as well as for ATM withdrawals. Meanwhile, an iOS and Android app provides instant balance checks, and transaction monitoring, including via text alerts.
Parents can also access the app from their handsets to monitor spending and load funds, creating, says Osper, more transparent and open conversations about money.
Says Varma: "Osper gives young people the freedom and control needed to 'learn by doing' within the framework of a safe and secure family environment."