Under-Age Checking – And Spending – Get Easier
The first-of-its-kind chip and pin-secured card has just been introduced in the U.K. for youngsters over the age of 12. Bearing a government PASS mark (Proof of Age Standard Scheme) plus birthday and age band, the prepaid card enables young people to spend, but not overspend. It also prevents purchases for which they are too young.
Dubbed "CitizenCard," Convenience Store magazine reports it is being promoted as "a safe and useful alternative to cash" and "the perfect all-round solution for younger people looking to prove their age and pay for purchases." Andrew Chevis, chief operating officer of CitizenCard, anticipates that over-18s will be the card’s greatest users, especially as it saves them having to carry identification and cash when out and about.
British convenience stores selling the cards, costing £15, will receive commission. The lack of fees is said to make CitizenCard "highly competitive." The card can be loaded free-of-charge by bank transfer, standing order, online banking or at Barclays branches. One disadvantage is a £1 charge for cash withdrawals, but advantages include discounts from participating retailers and venues plus £2 referral rewards.
National Federation of Retail Newsagents chief executive Paul Baxter described the card as a "huge step forward for PASS Proof of Age. … The Visa logo and hologram will add to the acceptance of the card as valid ID, and the clear distinction between 12-15, 16-17 and 18 plus cards will help our members to comply with the ever-stringent laws on underage sales."
As for online purchases, various codes have been blocked as a precaution, although sites are still "responsible for recognising the card number which identifies the user’s age," according to thisismoney.co.uk.
Experience from American chain 7-Eleven may be useful. Scanners in
California earlier this year began checking codes on drivers’ licenses and other forms of identification when customers try to purchase products which cannot be legally sold to minors. The system takes compliance to "the next level," according to senior director of regulatory affairs Keith Jones. One franchisee quoted by sacbee.com believes pressure for sales associates will be reduced as "it will be easier to determine if [customers] are old enough and help us keep records used to verify [age and identity]."
- New Visa card to revolutionise age verification – Convenience Store
- Prepaid card for teens: new Visa CitizenCard can pay for your shopping and prove your age but does it measure up? – This is Money
- California 7-Elevens launch new technology to combat underage
purchases – The Sacramento Bee
Discussion Question: Would a combination age-verification and prepaid debit card be attractive to young American consumers as well as retailers?