Economy

Amazon targets teen shoppers with new account sharing feature

Parents can approve all orders or set pre-approved spending limits per order - offering teens a customized level of autonomy that can change and grow as they do.

Reflecting how kids use the internet these days, the new shopping system only works through the Amazon mobile app.

Parents have to approve their teen's use of their Amazon account, which also gives those teens the benefits of an Amazon Prime account.

When it comes time to pay, they select a parent-chosen payment method - not disclosed to the teen - and, before the order is final, parents receive a text or email notification asking them to approve the purchase. The logic is that these teens will continue to shop through Amazon on their own once they become adults. Parents can choose to skip the approval step and set pre-approved spending limits, offering teens the freedom to place orders up to a certain dollar amount on their own.

The new teen accounts are a part of Amazon Households, the Amazon feature that allows customers to share their Prime accounts with other family members, create shared digital libraries for the family, and share credit and debit cards. "We've listened to families and have built a great experience for both teens and parents", said Michael Carr, VP of Amazon Households, in a statement.

On this page, there's now a new option to add a teen, as well as configure the settings associated with their account.

Any time they make a purchase, teens will be able to include a note that explains (or argues) why they need the particular item.

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. In the past, this is the money teens may have spent at the mall instead. How much a teen is allowed to spend and what they buy can be, but doesn't have to be, parent-regulated.

The teens get free rein to shop around-to a point.



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