For college students not willing to commit to a full year of Amazon Prime, the company announced Wednesday a new $5.49 monthly payment option called Amazon Prime Student. The catch: parents will be notified of each purchase via text or email, and will, by default, have to approve or deny each one.
The new move could be a seen simply as a bid to give teenagers more freedom.
"As a parent of a teen, I know how they crave independence, but at the same time that has to be balanced with the convenience and trust that parents need", said Michael Carr, vice president of Amazon Households, in a statement. The teen can also add a note to their parents.
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To get started, Teens and parents can go to amazon.com/forteens and click on the "Teens Start Here" option.
Parents who have Amazon Prime will be allowed to share benefits with their teens, including Prime's two-day shipping, Prime Video and Twitch Prime.
The parent and child each get their own Amazon account, however, the parent has the control over which payment methods and shipping addresses can be used by the child. Parents can then allow or deny the attempt with a simple "Y" or "N" reply to the automated message. And more trusting parents can elect to sidestep the per-item approval process and simply set an overall maximum budget. The logic is that these teens will continue to shop through Amazon on their own once they become adults. Parents receive itemized notifications for every order and can cancel and return any item in accordance with Amazon's policies. Teens will now be able to buy things using those accounts in the Amazon app.