Startup Plans Kid Shopping Service for UK

eVouchers Ltd. said it soon will let British teens become Internet shoppers with a new service that lets them buy online independently yet with parental control.

eVouchers, set to launch in the UK this autumn, is billed as “the new way to pay in the UK.” Parents buy eVouchers with a credit card and kids use them to buy things on the Web.

“E-commerce vendors are unable to exploit the £3 billion teenage market because these kids don’t have credit cards and they’d rather not shop with mum and dad,” said Joel Teitelbaum, founder of the start-up Internet venture. Purchases such as music, clothing, books, electronics, video games and concert tickets are among the merchandise categories targeted by eVouchers.

With eVouchers, a parent can designate which shops their child can buy from and in what amounts, Teitelbaum said. The child learns to manage a budget while enjoying the freedom of shopping alone or with friends. They will also be able to make donations to charity and take advantage of special discount offers from retailers who accept eVouchers.

“Kids use the Internet every day and they’re going to grow up managing their money online,” Teitelbaum said. “It will be commonplace for this generation. We want to help teach kids to manage their money wisely, to know that what they’re spending is their own and when it runs out, that’s it.”

The company is currently working toward launching the service in time for the lucrative pre-Christmas trading period, which is widely expected to be the coming-of-age for Internet retailing in the UK. The company is seeking a venture partner to fund the company’s requirements through the launch and the first year of operation.

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