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Amazon reportedly wants to create checking accounts for teens

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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Amazon is in early discussions with banks including JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Capital One Financial Corp. to create something akin to checking accounts that will be aimed at teenagers, according to sources who spoke to Bloomberg.

While Amazon has been able to successfully market to millennials and older groups, those who are 18–24 have been elusive because they lack debit cards, tend to not have bank accounts, and choose to purchase items at physical stores, according to Bloomberg.

Last year, the company introduced Amazon Cash, a way for customers without credit, debit, or bank cards shop online. A barcode is generated on the Amazon website, which can then be displayed on a mobile device or printed out, and brought to a retailer like CVS Pharmacy or Speedway to deposit funds into an Amazon wallet online. While it solves a need, the process is a bit cumbersome and there is an opportunity to provide a more streamlined experience.

Those under 18 usually can’t open bank accounts by themselves, and checking accounts for students generally come padded with additional charges. By partnering with banking institutions, Amazon could cater to a demographic that it is looking to capture, and banks themselves have historically not serviced well.

Gavin Rosenberg, a senior director at the payments processor Total System Services Inc. tells Bloomberg that Amazon could tie this all into Alexa, making payments even easier. “The younger generations are less concerned about privacy, so they’re more apt to use them,” Rosenberg said.