Amid a growing number of banking apps aimed at teens, Square Inc.’s Cash app is now expanding its reach by making its payment app available to teens between the ages of 13 and 17. Previously, the app required users to be at least 18 years old, like its rival Venmo. The company says young teens will need to ask a parent or guardian to authorize their account, but can then start sending peer-to-peer payments and receive a personalized, Visa-powered payment card.
The Cash card, essentially a Visa debit card linked to the teenager’s Cash App account, can be personalized using the Cash App mobile app. Teens (or any user, really) can choose the color of the card, add stamps, draw on it, or even glow in the dark, the company’s website explains.
Plus, teens will be able to send and receive peer-to-peer payments with family and friends, or anyone else on the Cash App network of over 40 million monthly active users. Other features also mirror the existing version of Cash App, including access to spending rewards at top retailers, access to ATMs with a $ 2 fee, and support for direct deposit of checks from pay.
However, teens will not be able to access Bitcoin or equity investing at this time, the company notes. Other features limited to users 18 and over include borrowing, checking deposit, depositing paper money, and cross-border payments.
Teenage accounts are designed to be managed under parental control. Parents who authorize Cash App for their children are the legal owner of the account and will be able to view their teen’s monthly activity through statements. They will also be able to suspend or cancel the teenager’s account and Cash card at any time.
Like some other banking services for teenagers, there are also restrictions on the use of the Cash card, depending on the merchant categories. In the case of Cash App, younger teens cannot use the card in bars and clubs, liquor stores, cigar shops, hotels or other accommodation, or for lottery tickets, casinos. or gambling, deposit and surety payments, or car rental.
The company believes the expansion will open Cash App to a large market of new users, noting that there are around 20 million teens in the United States today, who will soon make up a larger portion of purchasing power. in the years to come.
The expansion comes at a time when Cash App has become one of the fastest growing digital payment applications in the United States. Today, it has 70 million customers transacting annually, and recently introduced tighter integrations with parent company Square through the September launch of Cash App. Pay, a payment experience based on the Cash app for Square merchants.
The company’s growth has also benefited from the broader shift to digital payments that took place during the pandemic and its support for the acceptance of Covid stimulus checks and user unemployment benefits. In 2021, it generated gross profit of $ 546 million, up 94% year-on-year. This growth has put Cash App at a striking distance from Venmo, which its latest report had 76 million users. Now, by opening up to a new teen user base, Cash App could still close this gap.
However, Cash App will not be without competition. The mobile banking market has seen a number of entrants in recent years developing solutions to meet the needs of teenage users and their families, such as Greenlight, Step, Current, Revolut, Till Financial, Go Henry and others outside the United States. The app may have the advantage that its app is not just a “teen banking service” – it is an app that users can continue to use even as they get older.
The Cash for Teens app is available from today on iOS and Android in the US. Teens and families can find out more on the dedicated website, cash.app/13+.