AOL Tries its Hand at Cash Cards

One of the newest features in the upcoming release of the 9.0 client is aimed at parents and kids and is seen as a way to hold down subscriber churn. [internetnews.com: Top News]

With no annual fees or charges, the AOL Cash Card is neither a debit card nor a credit card. Instead, it’s kind of an allowance, loaded on a plastic card, that kids can use both offline and online.

When the new card arrives, it will hit a market landscape that was once littered with failed e-cards aimed at teens. Start-ups such as eWallet and ICanBuy.com, which offered a similar service that let parents use their credit cards to fund prepaid spending accounts for their children, fell by the wayside during the dot-com shakeout. Others, like RocketCash, managed to survive but they allow users to purchase only from a select number of sites.

In AOL’s case, it has some marquee names helping to back the concept, including a partnership with Visa to develop the cash card program based in part on Visa’s BUXX program, a similar pre-paid card for parents of teenagers. BankOne, one of the largest issuers of Visa cards, is also issuing the cards.

This will certainly be one to watch…

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