Prepaid credit cards for teenagers are not a new concept, but this type of payment method doesn't allow parents to control where, when or how their children are spending their money. Bill my Parents is a new company, which provides children with a card, but in order for a payment to be processed when kids are shopping online, parents will be notified and have to approve their children's purchases.
Bill my Parents works with many popular online shopping websites. Children can sign up for accounts, and when they see something they want from a website that works with Bill my Parents, they can add the items of their choice to a cart, select Bill my Parents as the payment method, and have an email sent to a parent, guardian or other adult to pay for and complete the transaction. Naturally, there is a fee to use Bill my Parents services, at $0.50 per shopping cart transaction, except at Amazon.com where there is no charge because the service is actually powered by the popular shopping site.
Bill my Parents is a way to give children the freedom to make their own purchases, without giving them unlimited access to their parent's credit cards. It also ensures that children only make purchases approved of by parents online, which is something that can't be monitored when giving a child a handful of cash and letting them loose at the mall.
Is this a case of over-parenting, or should parents inflict such controls over their children's spending?