Should children as young as eight be allowed to have their own Visa or MasterCard so they can shop online (see the funny tweet attached to this post)? The Teen market (UK has 7 million 8-18 year olds the USA 43 million) has been hard to crack to date. Is mobile the elixir that's been missing?
Osper, a new UK startup, has come up with an innovative way to create a banking service than can be used by children, combining prepaid debit cards and smartphone apps controlled by both them and their parents. The approach could potentially reach a market underserved by most banks, but which may also be embraced by parents keen to educate their children early on about how to manage money. The startup has also announced it’s closed a $10m (£6m) funding round, led by London’s Index Ventures (which has backed SoundCloud and Etsy among others). Previously Osper had raised a seed round of £800,000 in June last year as an alumni of the Techstars London accelerator. The cash will be used by founder Alick Varma to launch the service out of beta, roll out in the UK and eventually expand abroad. It’s also enrolled the backing of major UK TV celebrity, Davina Mccall.