Oink Goes Silent as Teen-Targeted Prepaid Card Options Narrow

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Prepaid cards for teens that were touted as a way to teach financial responsibility by enabling parents to share control and set spending limits, are becoming scarcer.

Oink, a youth payments company launched in 2008 that was previously called “Virtual Piggy," has shut down its remaining product, a reloadable prepaid card. The company on June 9 notified cardholders they will receive a refund “soon” on remaining card balances.

Oink is working on developing a new product, according to a notice on its website, but it provides no details.

Oink originally launched as a payments platform for kids developed by Jo Webber, an entrepreneur from the U.K. The service enabled youths to buy games and educational and other retail products through partnerships with merchants.

In 2014, Oink added a partnership with Discover Financial Services extending Oink as a reloadable prepaid card for youths.

Separately, Visa Buxx, a reloadable prepaid card developed by Visa for teens enabling parents and teens to add funds, recently lost two major issuers.

U.S. Bank notified its Visa Buxx cardholders of the card’s shutdown last fall. The Minneapolis-based issuer closed all cardholder accounts at the end of the year and will no longer make transaction history available after June 30, 2016.

Prepaid card giant The Bancorp also stopped issuing Visa Buxx cards within the last year. “We’ve determined that Buxx long longer fits within our corporate strategy,” the issuer explained on its website.

Navy Federal Credit Union and Nationwide Bank are among two issuers that continue to support Visa Buxx.

Tony Chang, vice president of prepaid product at Visa, said Visa Buxx is one of several reloadable prepaid products the company offers that are suitable for parents who want to monitor teenagers' spending.

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