Ask an Expert – Teen Finances: Venmo Ventures and Beyond

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By Melanie Jewkes

In today’s digital age, it’s essential for parents to equip their children with financial understanding and tools. With the emergence of services like Venmo Teen Account, teenagers now have access to digital financial solutions. Venmo is often perceived as a straightforward and user-friendly platform, but is it right for your child? Consider these pros and cons.

Pro #1: Parental Monitoring

Venmo, intended for teens ages 13-17, functions as a debit card. Parents can easily monitor how their teen uses it, helping promote responsible spending. In addition, parents can lock and unlock the debit card if necessary.

Pro #2: Cashless Convenience

If your teen needs money for a school event or a social gathering and you don’t have cash on hand, you can easily transfer funds to their debit card via Venmo. This money can be used just like cash, offering a seamless transfer to your child. There are no application fees, monthly balances, or minimum balances.

Pro #3: Real-Time Notifications

Venmo Teen lets you set up real-time notifications to monitor your teen’s spending. This added feature ensures that you’re always aware of how your child is managing their money.

Pro #4: Access to Venmo App 

If you choose to grant access, you can allow your teen to use the full Venmo app. This will give teens a taste of digital financial management in preparation for more complex financial situations in the future.

Pro #5: Privacy

All teen transactions default to the private setting, which can only be changed under a parent’s profile.

 

And now for the cons:

Con #1: ATM Withdrawal Fees

Your child can use the Venmo teen debit card at ATMs to withdraw money. While some ATMs may not charge a fee, others do. Learn about ATM fees and ensure that your child understands these potential charges.

Con #2: Other Fees and Restrictions

As with any debit or credit card, be aware of overdrafts, account ownership, and other fees, and teach your teen about them. Also be aware that the debit card can only be used where Mastercard is accepted and cannot be used for purchases outside the country, including online. In addition, there are charges for instant transfers.

The decision to introduce your child to Venmo Teen and digital financial tools ultimately comes down to your family’s values and priorities. Since these tools don’t include financial education, they provide an important opportunity to teach your child about responsible financial management, savings, and acceptable spending. This can help your child build essential financial skills while still receiving parental oversight.

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