MasterCard In Control for Spend Management

Advancing Control. Advancing Commerce.

Parents are interested in tools that make family finances easier and more efficient—provided they are simple to use. MasterCard offers an innovative way for parents to better manage, view, and control family purchases, and to safely extend spending capability to children and other family members.

The MasterCard In ControlTM for Spend Management application allows families to manage their finances and issuers to tap into the spending power of the entire household.

A tool for providing financial reassurance to parents

More now than ever before, spending by teens and college students represent an important segment of the consumer population. Annual spending by those ages 12-17 is projected to reach $150 billion by 2012 – much of that being money supplied by their parents.(1) Meanwhile, those attending college spend $250 million a year, with 70 percent of them receiving funds from home.(2)

The MasterCard In Control for Spend Management application presents a safe and responsible means for extending credit, debit or prepaid cards to cardholders' family members. After enrolling, cardholders simply access their online banking site to create customized spending profiles for each family member's card. This capability allows them to decide how cards can be used, including whether attempted spending outside the established parameters should be declined. For example, they might choose to:

  • Deliver a college student's monthly allowance
  • Allow a driving-age teen to buy gas to keep the family car running
  • Know about a spouse's latest splurge purchase immediately

As with other MasterCard In Control™ solutions, the Spend Management application also lets parents or their children receive real-time text alerts or an email whenever card usage within a specific category or time period exceeds set parameters. In this way, the Spend Management application uses communication channels that are already extremely popular among such consumers, with 80 percent of mothers indicating that cell phones are their main connection to their children or caregivers.(3)

Benefits to financial institutions

MasterCard In Control for Spend Management is a differentiator for issuing institutions in their efforts to recruit new cardholders, while strengthening their relationships with existing customers by promoting top-of-wallet use and gaining spend from the full household. According to MasterCard research, more than three-quarters of future payment card spend will be on a payment card with the Spend Management application.(4)

Furthermore, this research revealed a number of other findings, including the following:

  • Those likely to sign up for the MasterCard In Control for Spend Management application said they would add, on average, two cards per account.
  • Average spending with a payment card linked to the Spend Management application was likely to increase 30 percent, replacing the use of checks or cash.
  • Almost all acceptors agreed that the Spend Management application represents a better alternative to simply loaning a parent's credit card to a family member or giving children cash.

In Control for Spend Management has the potential to deliver significant financial results in the short term, as well the long term, by establishing "first card" relationships with the next generation of consumers for profitable life-cycle returns.

(1) Mintel, "Teens & Finance" report, January 2009
(2) Student Monitor report, 2009
(3) Marketing to Moms Coalition, 2009
(4) "MasterCard In Control Quantitative Research," November 2009; those indicating an intent to sign up for the Spend Management application

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