The UK bank, Lloyds TSB, have kicked up a fuss with their decision to give children as young as eleven years old VISA debit cards – without telling their parents.
While the company is happily dishing out Visa debit cards to kids, furious parents are concerned that their little loved ones will use the cards to go shopping in the murky, dark areas of the Internet.
Currently, most bank cards issued to kids under 15 only allow them to make withdrawals from cash machines or branches of their bank, but with the TSB now dolling out Visa cards, young ‘uns are free to spend! spend! spend! at any shop or website that accepts Visa, potentially opening up a world of shopping for porn, fags and booze.
Lloyds TSB has answered critics by insisting that there were measures in place to stop wayward yoots helping themselves to bounties of porn from adult websites, but the Mail claimed that a 15-year-old boy using one of their cards successfully managed to buy up a feast of fags, fake ID and Viagra. The first that the boy’s parents heard about it was when they received a letter from UK Customs demanding the duty on the ciggies.
Liberal Democrats Treasury spokesman Vince Cable was unimpressed, telling the Daily Mail that giving children VISA debit cards was “deeply dispiriting” and, “clearly motivated by short-term greed.”
A gloriously naive Lloyds TSB claimed that they wrote to their cashcard-holding customers under the age of 16 to let them know they could have a debit card but made it clear that they should let their parents know – like that’s going to work!
When asked to defend their decision not to inform parents before sending the debit cards to children, the Lloyds TSB spokesman countered: “We don’t always have the parents’ contact details or know the family’s circumstances. There are cases where the child might bank with us but the parent might not.”
However, parents or guardians can ask for the cards to be blocked – if they ever find out that their kids are using one, of course.