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Amazon Debuts (Parent-Controlled) Shopping Accounts for Teens

14 October 2017

The company announced on Wednesday a new method for teens to shop using their parents' Amazon account - but with more freedom.

The new Amazon accounts are for teens between the ages of 13 and 17. Once approved, teens can create a username and password to start ordering in their own separately downloaded app.

But there's a catch.

The new program will let teen log into Amazon using their own credentials, where they can then browse, shop and stream videos and tap into their parent's Prime membership benefits. "We've listened to families and have built a great experience for both teens and parents", said Michael Carr, Vice President, Amazon Households. (An annual Amazon Prime Student membership costs $49, compared with $99 for regular members.) Amazon, which had annual revenue of $136 billion previous year, accounts for roughly one-third of all online US sales.

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Amazon notifies parents by text or email of any purchase their child as made. Indeed, parents can elect to receive a text or email that shows the cost of an item and shipping address, while the kid can add a personalized plea to win approval, such as: "I need this new shirt for church". The text message also tells parents to reply by typing in the letter "Y" to approve the transaction or to go to their orders page to review the purchase further. Parents who want to avoid the approval step can set a preapproved spending limit on Amazon.

However, even in the cases where teens are allowed to place their own orders, parents can receive itemized notifications for every order and they're able to cancel or return items, as usual.

To get the ball rolling, parents must enter their kids' contact information, and indicate which of their payment cards is to be used for purchases. The convenience and the access to Prime perks like free two-day shipping, streaming content, Twitch Prime gaming deals and photo storage is a relative bargain for students, whose parents have to pony up $99 each year for the same benefits.

Amazon Debuts (Parent-Controlled) Shopping Accounts for Teens