Venmo is introducing accounts and debit cards for teens

Venmo is introducing a new service that allows parents to open a Venmo account for children between the ages of 13-17 to send and receive money via the app. Venmo Teen accounts also come with a debit card and controls for parents to monitor transactions and manage their child’s privacy settings — important because Venmo has been routinely criticized for its lack of privacy protections in the past.

Parents or legal guardians must sign up for a Venmo Teen account on behalf of their children. Each Venmo Teen account is connected to the parent’s personal Venmo account, which allows guardians to send money to their teen, monitor their account balance and transactions, and manage their privacy settings. Up to five Venmo Teen accounts can be managed by a single personal Venmo account. The parent has sole control over privacy settings on Venmo Teen accounts, and settings such as payments and friends lists will be set to private by default — though the connected parent account will be able to view transactions and their child’s friends list regardless.

Parents can monitor where their kids are spending their cash to ensure it isn’t being spent on anything nefarious.Image: Venmo

Parental controls also include the ability to lock, unlock, and manage the PIN for their child’s debit card, authorize whether their child can access the Venmo app, and block suspicious users from interacting with the Teen account. There are no monthly fees on the Venmo Teen account, and the Venmo Teen Debit Card provides no-fee cash withdrawals at participating ATMs. Balances between the connected child and parent Venmo accounts are kept separate. Venmo also says its Teen Accounts may be eligible to receive Direct Deposit, allowing any wages the child earns through after-school jobs to be paid directly into the account.

Venmo says its new Teen account will begin rolling out to select customers from June 2023 and will be “widely available in the coming weeks.” When live, parents can sign their child up for a Teen account by heading to the “Me” section within their own personal Venmo account, tapping their name in the top left-hand corner, and selecting “Create a teen account.” 

Kids require safe digital access to money as stores increasingly phase out physical cash, but Venmo has given plenty for parents to be concerned about. The mobile payment service has been widely criticized over privacy concerns, with one 2022 study from the University of Southern California reporting that two in five Venmo users have exposed their own personal information on the platform.

Update: May 22nd 8.13AM ET: Article has been updated to note that parents can also choose to grant or deny their children access to the Venmo app.