Amazon targets teenagers

NEW YORK • Amazon does not do baby steps. It has already nailed down millennial shoppers, their parents and most of their grandparents.

But one group of potential customers has eluded the world's biggest Internet retailer.

Teenagers, with their lack of debit and credit cards, pose a challenge to online retailers.

Enter Amazon, which hopes to bridge this gap in one fell swoop. It is in early discussions with banks, including JPMorgan Chase & Co and Capital One Financial Corp, to create a product similar to checking accounts.

People under 18 typically are not able to sign up for a bank account without parental consent. Checking accounts for high-school students often come with monthly service charges and overdraft fees.

So, there is a chance for Amazon to improve the banking experience, said Mr Stuart Sopp, chief executive officer of Current, a start-up that offers debit cards to teens.

"I'm sure Amazon is scaring every single regional bank and credit union right now," he added. "The banks have clearly not serviced these demographics, so there's opportunity."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 31, 2018, with the headline 'Amazon targets teenagers'. Print Edition | Subscribe