Hello Kitty will turn more plastic than ever by staring on a MasterCard debit card.
“We think our target age group will be from 10 to 14, although it could certainly go younger,” said Bruce Giuliano from Sanrio.
Since only parents (or at least anyone older than 18) can sign up for the card, Hello Kitty thinks it’s a great way for adults to “help teach their children how to manage their finances.” Next up, is a prepaid Hello Kitty mobile phone.
About one in six teenagers have debit cards. But now those cards are finding their way into the wallets of younger and younger children.
Last year, Visa issued a Hilary Duff gift card to lure the preteen fans of the Disney star. Its promotions urged girls to “shop like a star.”
Parents bought it for it 8 and 9 year old and complained that the Duff card was only a one-time card. The Hello Kitty card doesn’t automatically expire when the amount on it is used up. Parents can reload the card anytime.
The Visa Buxx card allows parents to put money on a child’s account and then monitor his or her purchases. On Visa Buxx and Hello Kitty cards, teens can only spend the amount on the card; they cannot go into debt by going over their spending limit.
Legend Credit Inc., which developed the Hello Kitty card is also working on a boy-oriented equivalent, but it seems that it’s not an easy task as the market’s very splintered on what influences boys (huge disappointment for me, I believed that girls were more sophisticated and mysterious!)