Greenlight is a 3-year-old startup based in Atlanta that is trying to solve an issue that parents who have kids in elementary or junior high school students can understand. This problem is how parents should give children money without worrying that they will spend it carelessly. The goal of the program is to ensure that the kids spend money wisely. The following are 20 things you should know about Greenlight.
1. It is a reloadable prepaid card
Although this is just one of the reloadable, prepaid cards on the market like Visa, MasterCard, and American Express, it is backed with seed funding from a startup incubator and executive team at Georgia Tech, known as Advanced Technology Development Center. According to techcrunch.com, the startup hopes to take on the grants by adding features to its FDIC insured offering and making its pricing straightforward and affordable.
2. It has a unique way to deal with competition
One of the ways that Greenlight handles competition is with store-level controls. For instance, it provides parents with the options to give children a certain amount they can spend at a specific website or store such as Amazon.com, Chick-fil-A, or the neighborhood market store. The startup found that providing parents with the ability to select specific stores where the children can shop is appealing.
3. Features of the card
Parents may automate allowances in the app easily. Greenlight is also rolling out a savings account and Greenlight Giving to provide parents and their children with a full view of their finances across giving, savings and spending. It focuses on empowering parents to raise their children to be smart financially. For the children to learn to spend wisely, it is essential for them to save to cover unexpected expenses, why credit is essential and how to build wealth by investing.
4. It offers notifications
Anytime a child uses the card, the parents are alerted instantaneously to let them know the amount spent and where. Notifications are also customizable for both children and their parents. You can get notifications whenever your child makes a purchase or when a transaction is declined, and children make a new request, funds transfers, low balances, and when a card is turned off or on.
5. There is a monthly fee
Greenlight debit card has two revenue streams, which include the card interchange revenue from card spend and the subscription fee. While some card items depend on interchange revenue to stay afloat, Greenlight believes kids do not spend that much every month. The company decided to go for a per-family price to encourage families to get their kids (up to five kids) the debit card. This has helped the company to acquire the market share and get big faster. Apart from the monthly fee, Greenlight does not charge any extra fees unless the card is stolen or misplaced. The company offers a one-time free replacement card. After that, you will need to part away with $3.50 for each replacement. In addition, if you prefer having your card sooner or within 2 to 3 business days, the company offers express shipping for $24.99.
6. Greenlight is a debit card
Most people are not sure if Greenlight is a credit or debit card. It is a debit card that parents load allowance money among other funds from the Greenlight app onto the kid’s debit card. This helps kids learn how to manage money using a debit card, unlike using cash in their day-to-day spending. The prepaid debit card limits kids from spending what is not there, which is a valuable life lesson.
7. Kids can access cash from the ATM using the debit card
Kids can use their Greenlight card from any ATM using a Visa Interlink, Mastercard, Maestro name, or logo. The debit card can also be used at any international ATM that has these logos. It is essential to note that: Your kid’s first transaction cannot be at an ATM for security reasons. Your child can only withdraw cash from an ATM after being used at a sales register or online successfully only if there are funds available in their “Any ATM” Spend Control. The maximum amount your child can withdraw is $105 when using the “Any ATM” and the monthly maximum amount of $525 per family. ATMs charge a withdrawal fee. The banks that operate the ATMs charge the fees per withdrawal. Greenlight does not collect or charge any amount from these fees.
8. Parents can transfer cash instantly
Greenlight is fast. Unfortunately, one cannot use an ATM to reload your child’s debit account. You can only load the card by connecting your debit card or bank account to the Greenlight app. After that, you can comfortably make an instant transfer to your Greenlight Parent’s Wallet. As soon as a parent approves spending in the app, the card is updated instantly. For instance, a kid can be lining up in the waiting line, realize they have limited funds, and request more cash. If the parent is ready to approve the transfer, the Greenlight card is updated instantly. Also, parents can:
- Automate allowances
- Approve kid’s investments
- Manage access and budgets for ATM withdrawals
- Set parent-paid interest rates
9. It is suitable for kids of all ages
When Greenlight went to market, the company was targeting kids between 10 and 18. However, parents are signing up for kids aged 12 years on average. It is essential to note that Greenlight is friendly and useful to kids of all ages. The earlier you introduce your kid to Greenlight, the better. Kids begin forming money habits at a very tender age. With Greenlight, you can direct your child in the right financial direction. Also, Kids start to be independent immediately after they get their first smartphone. They begin spending time with friends compared to their parents. Greenlight begins to solve the problems that families run into. Greenlight application motivates your kids to: Set saving goals for their new headphones, iPad, first car, or anything you teach them to save for. Learn how to make trade-offs for college tuition or movie tickets. Earn allowances after completing their chores. According to Greenlight, kids who earn allowance save more than 26 percent.
10. Instant notification
When the card is used, parents receive a notification instantly letting them know the amount spent and where. Both parents and their children can customize their alerts. When payments are made, declined transactions, new requests, funds transfers, messages received from your kids, low balances, the card is switched on or off, and messages are sent, you will receive the updates. For these notifications, it is essential to ensure that:
- Your in-app alerts are switched on
- Notifications are turned on in your phone’s settings
If the same issue persists, contact their customer care team through the Help Center in your email. Greenlight customer care responds fast to customer’s queries and ensures to solve your debit card issues within a brief period.
11. It comes with an educational app
According to creditcards.com, Greenlight plans provide users with an educational app, which helps kids complete chore lists to earn cash, track their balances, among others. Parents can switch on and off their kid’s debit cards using the Greenlight app. That means that if your kids misplace their debit card, the parent can turn off the functionality of the card temporarily until the card is replaced.
12. Can be used almost everywhere
Greenlight can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted, whether in-store or online. The company has put in vital guardrails since the cardholders are kids. If you want to travel to a foreign country, you do not have to inform the debit card company. Greenlight works internationally in over 150 countries and does not charge foreign transaction fees. The debit card also has safeguards to prevent the debit card from being used to purchase items or services that are not child-friendly, like online gambling and dating services.
13. It also offers to invest
According to greenlightcard.com, families on Greenlight + Invest or Greenlight Max have access to investing platforms for kids. The platforms help kids learn and understand the world of investing using their own Greenlight investor profiles. Kids can set their preferred goals, make tradeoff decisions, and learn more about saving. Parents, on the other hand, can approve every trade the kid’s conduct. Families can research, purchase, and monitor stocks as well as funds from the application. Actually, 89 percent of parents using Greenlight claim that the card has helped their kids learn more about financial responsibility.
14. Greenlight is safe
The debit card account is FDIC-insured through the company’s partner Community Federal Savings Bank. The savings bank is Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard compliant. Greenlight also uses advanced encryption to secure all communications between the user’s device and the company’s servers. Other safety measures include: Like all debit cards, Greenlight also needs to set a secret PIN with four digits after activation. Greenlight also offers parents powerful but fun tools about financial safety to pass the knowledge to their kids. For extra peace of mind, parents get parental controls with Greenlight. You can dictate the amount your child can use and where they can spend the money.
15. It is also compatible with Google pay and Apple Pay
For kids aged 13 and above can begin using Apple Pay, and those aged above 16 years can use Google Pay immediately. They add their cards to their device.
16. It is easy to apply
Interested persons only need to provide some basic information such as:
- Mobile phone number
- Email address
- Child or children’s names
- Your first and last legal names
- Your date of birth
- Mailing address
- Social Security Number (SSN)
- A valid bank account or debit card
There is no age limit for a kid whose parents sign up for them. However, kids who want to sign up before their parents have to be at least 13 years. The main account holder requirements include:
- Be at least 18 years old
- US address apart from a PO Box
- American citizen or a permanent resident
- The account holder will provide the following information when signing up:
- Official full names, mobile phone number, and home address
- Date of birth and Social Security number
After applying successfully, you should receive your Greenlight card between 7 and 10 business days. Shipping is also available for an additional charge.
17. Has a black card
Greenlight Max plan provides kids with access to Greenlight Black Card. The modern card is sleek and can help kids grow the interest in saving and spending.
18. Offers cell phone protection
According to Greenlight, the Max plan offers mobile phone coverage. The mobile phone insurance allows you to be compensating up to $600 for the cost of replacing or repairing your child’s cell phone if it is damaged, lost, or stolen. The card limits to a maximum of two claims per calendar year and a total of $1,000 per card per calendar year. Each claim is subject to a $25 deductible.
19. It is different from a traditional debit card
Greenlight is a debit card that was designed with families in mind. Yes, it is a debit card for children that parents control, but it is also a popular smartphone app that allows parents to manage and see where, when, and how much their children spend money while also teaching them about money management.
20. It is optional to have your face on your card
Kids do not need to upload their faces on their cards. Most kids prefer a picture of their beloved furry pet, a painting, or a regular Greenlight card color. However, if they insist on having a cool photo of themselves on their wallet, here is why it is safe: It demonstrates ownership. Some retailers may be perplexed as to how a child obtained their debit card. As a result, your child’s picture serves as an added layer of security.