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Mobile payments are about to get kid-friendly. Virtual Piggy, Inc. announced it has released a new mobile iOS application that will let parents and kids manage their Virtual Piggy accounts on their Apple phones and tablets.

Virtual Piggy gives online merchants a platform to help reach consumers under the age 18, while complying with laws like the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) established to protect children's privacy and safety online. The tool lets kids shop online but gives parents final say on approving the purchase by setting conditions or alerts on the child's profile. Virtual Piggy said its technology lets youngsters "play, transact and socialize in a secure online environment guided by parental permission, oversight and control." 

And while kid consumers may be small in size, their purchasing power certainly isn't. Virtual Piggy said that kids between the ages of 8 and 18 have more than $50 billion to spend. The company said that even with all that money burning a hole in their virtual pockets, there was never a tool for them to spend it online except for parents' credit cards.

"Kids are very comfortable with e-commerce and over a third of kids 8-11 now have their own mobile device and that number is rising,” said Virtual Piggy Executive Catherine Williams in the announcement. She said the new app brings a secure online payment method to platforms where kids spend the majority of their time.

Virtual Piggy said the new iOS app is just a part of its strategy to bring its e-commerce solutions to the global youth market across any online channel as well as in-store with an NFC-enabled solution.

For more on this topic, visit the Money Transfer/P2P research center. 

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