IN THE CARDS
New debit and credit cards cater to Millennials’ financial habits
Millennials tend to be turned off by traditional financial institutions and services since they feel such entities don’t speak their language or reflect their generation’s preference to live in the now. To better serve this cohort’s needs, new debit and credit cards are emerging, taking a digital-first approach to payment and not requiring a significant financial footprint to get started.
Venmo is one of the most relevant financial tools for many Millennials, so it’s only fitting that the platform is aiming to further fulfill their payment needs by releasing a debit card. The company is beta testing cards linked to one’s Venmo account that can be used in physical stores. To activate the card, recipients must designate a reload method like a checking account to be used if their Venmo balance doesn’t cover a purchase. While the card is actually a Visa debit card issued by Metropolitan Commercial Bank, there’s consumer interest in Venmo providing its own offering.
Hoot is billed as the debit card for Millennials given its focus on customization and on-demand access. The smart payment card connects via Bluetooth to a users’ smartphone and a companion app, allowing users to personalize the photo on their plastic and more. For convenience, the card contains a physical button that when pressed reveals one’s balance, but only when connected via Bluetooth to ensure security. The app aims to further help cardholders manage their money with AI-driven budgeting, expense categorization, spending insights, and alerts. Users can create savings goals, and the AI-based coach will guide them in their efforts.
Many young people experience a Catch-22 when applying for a credit card: they don’t have much credit history, if any, but need one in order to qualify for an account. Petal offers a solution by consulting users' everyday digital financial information, such as checking accounts or prepaid debit cards, to help them qualify immediately and start building a credit score. Petal helps users track what they spend and what they can afford, plus pay bills in full each month straight from their bank accounts to avoid interest charges.