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Visa's CitizenCard Launches in UK; Oz Expected to Follow

|Aug 2|magazine7 min read

The opportunity for kids to swap that toy debit card for the real deal may be in Australia’s near future, experts have expressed to the Herald Sun.

Called the ‘Visa CitizenCard,’ the card is available to kids 12 years and older and features a child’s photograph and birthday, making it a legal for of personal identification. Their parents may load the card with a predetermined amount of money for use on everyday transactions, in-store and online. Unlike with cash, card transactions may be monitored by parents.

“Children and young people [have] to make financial decisions much earlier on in their lives than their parents,” said Tracey Bleakley, chief executive from UK finance education charity pfeg (Personal Finance Education Group). “Financial confidence is key in ensuring young people make the right decisions about spending and saving.”

As an added bonus, all under-18 cards also feature a specific code that bars the cardholder from illegal purchases and services, such as alcohol and gambling. According to This is Money, the CitizenCard is the first card of its kind to utilise this savvy technology.


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Launched in the UK last month, the card is expected to expand throughout Europe next year. Alan Shields, director of the strategic research firm RFi, told the Herald Sun that the likelihood of these cards debuting in Australia was high.

"Linking a proof-of-age card with a pre-paid card is a good idea given if you are underage you might not have anything else that has your age on it,” said Mr Shields. "It seems very sensible and it's not pushing credit on to younger people.''

CitizenCard’s chief executive Andrew Chevis has not revealed plans to launch the card Down Under, but told the Herald Sun that “We keep under review plans to introduce it to new markets if there is a sufficient demand.”