Teen debit card Current now acts more like a real bank account

Current, the app-controlled teen debit card that’s managed by parents, is starting to look more like a bank. Today, the startup announced it’s now adding to its debit account for teens support for routing and account numbers. That means working teens will be able to direct-deposit to their Current account their paychecks from after-school and summer jobs, then use the Visa debit card when they need to make purchases — including when shopping online.

The company first launched its debit card and app for teens and parents last year, with the goal of giving parents a more modern way to dole out allowances and reward their kids for household chores.

Through the app, parents can set chores, transfer funds and track their child’s spending. They can also set limits on how the money can be used, including restrictions on the amount that can be pulled out of an ATM as well as ways to block spending by category — like blocking purchases at bars or airlines, for example.

Meanwhile, by offering the funds on a debit card, teens get a sense of autonomy as well as a way to practice money management and financial discipline.

Now, the company wants to better serve its teenaged users who are working outside the home.

Today, traditional banks will offer accounts to teens in some cases — like if they have a recurring deposit from an employer, for example. But Current won’t have the same restrictions, the company says. Teens who are earning money on their own — but not necessarily on a recurring schedule — can opt for Current instead.

“Gen Z’s entrepreneurial spirit is strong, and they are looking for ways to earn money on their own
terms, taking part in the gig economy and starting their own businesses,” said Current founder and CEO Stuart Sopp, in a statement. “These working teens need a debit card for supplies and services, and a way to get paid including direct deposit and routing and account numbers so they can connect with e-commerce
platforms,” he noted.

The launch of account numbers follows Current’s recent addition of instant transfers, which allows parents to immediately fund teens’ accounts without a wait or any extra fees.

The startup charges parents a $36 annual subscription for its service. It competes with other teen-focused solutions in the fintech space, including Greenlight Financial and those from traditional banks. Current is backed by $10 million from QED Investors, Cota Capital, Fifth Third Capital and others.

 

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