From video games to fizzy drinks, teens have their own spending agenda. Raised in the digital age, generation Z also has a special sense of freedom, a product of unrestricted access to the internet and mass availability of new technology. Its members are potential natural adopters of cryptocurrency, and fintech companies are beginning to turn their attention to this promising market. A new crypto debit card has been launched to cater to the financial needs of the European young.
Card Can Be Loaded With BCH and 6 Other Coins
Today’s teenagers get their news from video sharing sites and share their opinions on social media. At least 97% of them own a smartphone, according to a survey of almost 80,000 respondents between the ages of 16 and 22 conducted in 45 markets earlier this year. Teenagers spend over four hours on their mobile devices each day, the study has found.
This generation is not satisfied with analog things such as paper money. It demands digital cash, and to facilitate this a crypto platform called Bitsa is now issuing a debit card that can be topped up with bitcoin cash (BCH) and six other cryptocurrencies: BTC, LTC, XRP, DASH, XLM, and ZEC. Bitsa Young is a Visa like any other, but it is not linked to a traditional bank account. Instead, it can be ordered and loaded from a mobile app.
The new fintech product has been developed and launched by the Monaco-based company Bitsa SARL. Its cards are issued under license from Visa by Pecunia Cards E.D.E (Pecunpay), a Madrid-headquartered electronic money institution authorized by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Finance. It operates under the supervision of the Bank of Spain and in accordance with applicable EU regulations. Pecunpay’s services are used by other similar platforms such as the Spanish 2gether.
Bitsa Young is offered to people aged 14 to 17 residing in any of the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) countries. Although it is not associated with a bank account, users can make SEPA transfers to any Iban, send funds between Bitsa accounts, and withdraw cash from ATMs. Besides cryptocurrencies, the card can be topped up with regular bank cards, other Bitsa cards, or with redeemable vouchers that can be purchased with cash at associated online and physical stores such as Fnac and Carrefour.
How to Get the Bitsa Young Card
To obtain a Bitsa Young, teens have to download and install the platform’s mobile app, which is available for iOS and Android devices and has over 10,000 installs in the Google Play Store. They need to create a Bitsa account to order the card from the application. Users under 18 can choose between a virtual card which is free and a physical card that costs €19.50. There is no maintenance or recharge fee but other fees apply to certain transactions. Purchases outside the Eurozone, for example, are charged a 1.5% commission.
Young users must request authorization from a parent or a legal guardian, again from the app, and verify their identity. “To pass the verification process and obtain a Bitsa, we require that the child provides an identity document (ID, passport, or residence permit), nothing else,” explained Roberta Quintiliano, CMO at Bitsa. However, if suspicions arise regarding the authenticity of the document, the applicant may be asked for a different document and/or a selfie with the ID, she added, speaking to news.Bitcoin.com.
On the parents’ side, registration is also required. Once they receive an invitation from their child, the father, mother or legal guardian will have to download the mobile application, create a Bitsa account and request a regular Bitsa card for themselves – a virtual one won’t incur any additional costs – and accept the child’s request to approve his or her account. To pass their verification process, parents are required to upload an identification document as well.
Identity Verification Requirements
An account with Bitsa is created through the Bitsa app. Setting up one is free of charge but you have to share some personal details. You’ll be asked to provide your full name, billing address, valid email, your phone number, and choose a payment method. The requirement to upload an ID only for the Bitsa card is less than what other companies in the industry have been mandating. Nevertheless, Bitsa’s own Terms and Conditions page states that “In certain cases, both BITSA and PECUNPAY, may request the customer a proof of his residence, as well as any other verification document.”
The reason for this clarification is an obligation stemming from Spain’s Law 10/2010, of April 28, on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing as well as related regulations establishing the identification of clients and the maintenance of their updated information as a due diligence measure. Fintech companies are also obliged to comply with European regulations such as the EU’s Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD5), which entered into force on July 9, 2018. EU countries must transpose the amendments into national law by Jan. 20, 2020.
Members of the crypto community, who are more privacy-sensitive than most, have reasonably complained that firms offering services in the space and national governments are sometimes going above and beyond what traditional financial platforms would require their customers to reveal in terms of personal information. It’s been reported that extensive verification procedures employed by some crypto card providers in Europe go as far as to request clients’ confidential employment contracts with third parties, for example, making it extremely difficult to actually obtain and use their products.
In the case of Bitsa Young, the good news is not the relatively easy application process, as claimed by the issuer, but rather the promise of some level of financial freedom for the maturing Generation Z. Once youngsters get their parents’ approval and become “Bitzers,” they will presumably have full control over their fintech app and be able to load their prepaid card with cryptocurrencies by themselves. Only time will tell if centennials find coins and cards cooler than cash.
What’s your opinion about crypto debit cards for teenagers? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or as a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Bitsa.