There’s a new payment service just launching: BillMyParents. It’s a way that kids (“tweens,” according to the founder) can shop in online stores and easily spend their parents’ money–if their parents later agree to buy them the stuff they want.
The system puts little BillMyParents buttons next to items in online retail. To check out, kids write optional notes to their parents about the items they want. Parents get e-mail notifications and can approve and pay for individual items directly.
Kids never get access to their parents’ credit cards. And parents don’t have to visit the store sites their children found the items on.
Jim Collas, CEO of SocialWise, which makes BillMyParents, says it is “focused on the communication between tween and parent.” As inclined as I am to disparage systems that put the Web in the middle of the parent/child relationship, I actually think this idea works.
It doesn’t reduce or remove communication in a family, in fact it could increase it. And it makes it easier to mark, track, and purchase online items.
BillMyParents is also focused on making money. Collas points to the $28 billion spent online by the “youth demographic,” and says he’s also eyeing the $40 billion spent offline on products researched on the Web.
Much of this commerce, he says, goes offline because the child can’t buy the item. BillMyParents will make money from transaction feeds.
Photo by BillMyParents.