It's often hard to manage a credit card when you're first introduced to the idea of spending money you don't have. Often times, people forget that the money spent must be paid back – especially when the excitement of a $400 'investment' in that sweater you've been eyeing at Barney's.
In an effort to help budding credit card users, BillMyParents enables parents to monitor their childrens' usage through its prepaid credit card offerings. "People are going to see debit cards as the wave of the future," the company's chief executive, Jim Collas, told San Diego News. "I think cash is going to fade away. It's a more convenient way to manage cash. People look at cash as primitive."
Though it is a tad unrealistic to think that cash will completely fade from the American economy, Callas asserted that Americans are increasingly demanding speed in everything, even it it means "cutting off 5-1- seconds from a 30-second transaction." Ultimately, BillMyParents helps teenagers to better manage their money, eliminating the need to ask mom or dad for an allowance hike.
The BMP card comes with a preset limit that cannot be exceeded; the funding for the card is provided by parents – in most cases – and it is up to a parent's discretion to dole out money. Moreover, whenever a purchase is made using the BMP card, parents receive a text message so they are aware of where and how the money is being spent.
The cards are essentially a learning tool, teaching teens how to balance their checkbooks at a young age. The BMP card has no activation fee and only charges a $3.95 monthly fee for use and a $1.50 fee for ATM purchases – all of which are well under the rates most national banks charge for their banking services.
If Callas is as good a fortune teller as he is at managing money, the cards could explode in popularity over the next decade as he predicts they'll be as popular as cell phones. In 2020, "every 15-year-old has one."