|By Jim Bruene on June 28, 2011 7:12 PM | Comments|
If you want to attract customers between the ages of 12 to 21+, you could not have a better name than BillMyParents. But living up to that promise, not to mention appealing to parents, is a little trickier.
San Diego-based BillMyParents is a public company (OTCBB: BMPI) currently valued at $40 million. When we first looked at the company (March 2009), it was building an alternative payment mark similar to PayPal or BillMeLater. But the company appears to have pivoted into a more achievable prepaid card product.
Today, its core offering is a $3.95/mo prepaid MasterCard debit card (see full fee schedule below) that offers mobile alerts and basic parental controls (lock, unlock, reload).
Fresh off a $7 million infusion of new funding (Nov. 2010, note 1), the company has ramped up its advertising with its first national TV commercial (on ESPN; link) and a mention in MTV's Rob Dyrdek's Fantasy Factory (which apparently has something to do with skateboarding). It is also working with Street League Skateboarding.
Evidently, those efforts are bearing fruit as website traffic is up 20-fold since December, to 600,000 unique visitors in May according to Compete estimates (see below). More importantly, traffic to the secure site (e.g., account holders) is up to 17,000 visitors in May compared to 7,000 in December (note 2).
Relevance for Netbankers: Teens want to spend. Parents want transparency and control. And banks want to attract teens and tweens that could be customers for the next 80 years. And if that's not enough, in the United States, prepaid looks to be favored in the post-Durbin world (previous post).
So expect prepaid cards to be a hotbed of activity from both banks and non-banks (note 3).
BillMyParents.com unique monthly visitors
Source: Compete, 28 June 2011
Parent section of BillMyParent's website (28 June 2011)
2. Source: http://siteanalytics.compete.com/account.billmyparents.com/
3. For example, BankSimple http://www.netbanker.com/bank_simple/
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