Retail giant Amazon plans to give children aged 13-17 the ability to log into their own accounts under parental supervision, CNN Money reported on Tuesday.
Teen accounts will be linked to parents' main accounts, and will feature the ability to "either pre-approve each order via text or email (the default), set a spending limit for each order or to automatically approve all purchases," per CNN. According to Bloomberg, parents' Prime benefits will roll over to their children's accounts, including benefits like streaming, gaming and shipping. Each and every purchase will also result in a receipt being sent to the parent -- though they would only have 30 minutes to decline the order.
The teen accounts will not contain parents' credit card information, or allow them to see their parents' browsing or purchase history.
Basically, it sounds like at least a moderately secure system for enabling teens to purchase merchandise online using your credit card -- given that any truly resourceful or terrible enough teen could probably already be racking up secret charges anyhow.
Amazon Household VP Michael Carrtold CNN Money in a statement that "As a parent of a teen, I know how they crave independence, but at the same time that has to be balanced with the convenience and trust that parents need."
As well as balanced, presumably, with Amazon's relentless expansion across more and more of the retail industry. As Bloomberg recently noted, brick-and-mortar stores have seen sales among teenagers plummet, with brands like Abercrombie & Fitch Co., Express Inc., Urban Outfitters Inc. amd American Eagle Inc. all seeing significant hits. Sucking up those young customers is a natural move for Amazon.
"They're not loyal -- they're fickle, they shop anywhere," Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Poonam Goyal said. "Traditionally, if you shopped at Urban Outfitters, then 90 per cent of your wardrobe was Urban Outfitters. I don't think any millennial's wardrobe is 90 per cent anything."