American Express,Seed money,Startup company,Debit card,Atlanta,Child,Parent

Greenlight is a debit card for kids that parents manage from their phones

February 4, 2017
in Kids

Greenlight, a three-year-old, Atlanta, Ga.-based startup is trying to solve a problem that any parent of an elementary or junior high school student can well understand: how to give kids money without worrying that they’ll lose it or spend it on something they shouldn’t. It isn’t the first reloadable, prepaid card. MasterCard, Visa, and American Express each offer parent-friendly debit cards, among other outfits. But Greenlight — backed with seed funding from its executive team and a startup incubator at Georgia Tech called the Advanced Technology Development Center — is hoping to take on these giants by adding every imaginable bell and whistle to its FDIC-insured offering, as well as making its pricing affordable and straightforward. Because I have a seven- and nine-year-old — both of whom reliably lose whatever money I give them for field trips and the like — I was curious to learn more. Cofounder Johnson Cook answered some of my questions earlier this week. TC: Greenlight is a nice idea, but it has plenty of competition. How does what you’re offering differ from what’s out there already? JC: [We think] Greenlight is the first card with store-level controls — in other words, the ability for a parent to give a child a specific amount that he or she can spend at a specific store or website – like Starbucks, Chick-fil- A, the neighborhood market store, We found that the ability to choose the specific stores where their kids can shop really resonated with parents. TC: What are some of the card’s other features? JC: Parents can automate allowances very easily in the app. We’re also rolling out a Greenlight Savings account and Greenlight Giving, which will give parents and their kids a full view of their finances across spending, savings, and giving. We’re very focused on empowering parents to raise their kids to be financially smart: to learn to spend wisely, the importance of saving so they can cover unexpected expenses, how to build wealth through investing, and the importance of credit. TC: What about notifications? I’d think these would be pretty important to parents. JC: Parents are instantly alerted any time the...

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