CAUSAL CAPITALISM FOR THE KIDDIES

The rise of beneficent marketing is upon us. The next generation of consumers will determine their brand loyalties and levels of brand engagement through an internal filter that makes cause marketing and corporate philanthropy an integral part.

A forward thinking company called Edo Interactive has introduced the facecard, for teens older than 13. Here’s a brief description of the simple functionality:

The facecard is a prepaid and reloadable card that can be used by young people 13 and over anywhere MasterCard is accepted. Parents can electronically add allowances or emergency funds to the card and have them available within 15 minutes; cardholders can access them in stores and ATMs worldwide. Because they are debit cards, facecards can only be used for transactions up to their current balance, which users can monitor from anywhere online. There are no activation or monthly maintenance charges for using facecard, but fees are applied for international purchases, using an ATM, inactive accounts and negative balance incidents, among others. A series of videos on YouTube illustrates how facecard can be used.

Facecard_3

I love how a series on YouTube is the preferred way to learn about financial responsibility. But there’s more to the card, and herein lies its experiential nature:

facecard functions as a sort of social network, allowing users to create profiles, set their preferences and find each other online. Facecard holders can use the site to send funds to each other’s facecards to repay loans or give gifts, for example. Through a “prewards” program with partner companies, meanwhile, the facecard also lets advertisers reward cardholders for their loyalty in a highly targeted fashion by periodically adding funds to their card for use at particular stores. Users can indicate in their profiles what types of prewards they’d be interested in. Earlier this summer facecard partnered with Tennessee’s Bonnaroo music festival to donate USD 10,000 to Stop Global Warming. And as part of the card’s nationwide launch, representatives from the Nashville-based company will reportedly be visiting 50 college campuses on Saturday, August 30th—the first Saturday of NCAA football action—with information on financial literacy.

Given that the United States alone is home to some 82 million teens and young adults–with annual spending of almost USD 350 billion, edō says—targeting this group (and helping advertisers do the same) makes good sense. One to bring to other parts of the world?

Isn’t this cool? Sure, there are plenty of credit cards that allow users to donate money or reward points to charities of their choice. But this is different. This is community giving. And more amazingly, here’s a debit card that really gives back!

Welcome to the future, folks. If this idea ever takes root, we can have a whole new generation of social and socially-conscious megaconsumers — the beneficent prosumer.

Thanks to Springwise for the tip.

One comment

  1. Now thats a whole new level. If that can incorporate Mp3’s and an EBay functionality were members can send each other actual products as well – then its really crazy.

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