Consumer Payment Card News

Kiddie Card

Kids, not college kids or teenagers, may soon be able carry credit cards linked to their parents’ accounts. AT&T Corp. has been granted a patent for a unique system and method that enables the parent to control the use of an ancillary credit or debit transaction card which is issued to a child. The system calls for a central computer to communicate with an issuer computer having a data base containing account information and spending limits for the transaction card to permit the parent to set a spending limit for the ancillary card given to the child. If the child attempts to exceed the credit limit the central computer initiates contact with the parent via two way pager, cellular telephone, or other personal communication service, and queries the parent whether to authorize the transaction by increasing the spending limit of the ancillary cardholder or deny the transaction. AT&T’s kiddie card system requires four databases to function card issuer database; a database of credit limits pre-approved by the cardholder; a database of contact information for the parent; and a database of account credit limits approved by the card issuer. No indication when this system may be used now that Citibank has acquired AT&T’s credit card portfolio.

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