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Are you looking for a PayPal alternative if you’re under 18 years old? Looking for the best options can be a daunting task, as there are many different payment services out there that may or may not be suitable for minors.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the best PayPal alternatives for minors and outline some key points to consider.

Best PayPal Alternatives for Minors—Our Top Picks

Cash Management App
Best Debit Card for Kids
Best Debit Card for Customer Service
Free (no monthly fees)
Core: $4.99/mo. Max: $9.98/mo. Infinity: $14.98/mo. (Each account supports up to 5 children.)
30 days free. Individual: $4.99/mo./child. Family: $9.98/mo. for up to 4 children.
Cash Management App
Best Debit Card for Kids
Core: $4.99/mo. Max: $9.98/mo. Infinity: $14.98/mo. (Each account supports up to 5 children.)
Best Debit Card for Customer Service
30 days free. Individual: $4.99/mo./child. Family: $9.98/mo. for up to 4 children.

Can You Have a PayPal Account Under 18 Years Old?

No, PayPal doesn’t allow minors to have an account with them. The PayPal User Agreement states, “If you are an individual, you must be a resident of the United States or one of its territories and at least 18 years old, or the age of majority in your state of residence open to a U.S. PayPal Account to use the PayPal Services.”

How Old Do You Have to Be to Have a PayPal Account?

You need to be 18 years old or older in order to have a PayPal account, as this is necessary for entering into a legally binding agreement. Without this requirement, there would be lots of potential problems that could arise from minors signing up for an account and entering such contractual obligations.

What are the Best PayPal Alternatives for Under 18 Year Olds?

For minors, few options exist to make peer-to-peer payments as you would with an app like PayPal. As a result, second-best solutions are mostly what you can hope for—but that doesn’t mean these alternatives aren’t powerful options for making transfers between family members with linked accounts or monitoring options for parents to watch their teens’ spending! Thankfully, these alternatives can still make money transfers relatively simple and secure.

We start with the closest options and then review a few investing and banking products specifically targeted towards kids and teens. Combined, these are the best PayPal for kids alternatives (for teens 13 and older).

Payment Transfer Apps

1. Cash App (Best PayPal for Kids Alternative)

cash app sign up
Cash App

Cash App markets itself as a smarter way to manage your money. Whether you’re looking to send, spend, bank, or buy stocks or bitcoin, Cash App has several useful features that allow you to handle, save, and invest your money.

Sending and receiving payments is free with Cash App, so you can rest assured knowing that your money is always accounted for when you transfer funds to friends and family.

Cash App is one of the few payment platforms that lets teens pay and receive money from each other through the app, albeit with some lower limits than competing solutions we highlight here: up to $1,000 per 30-day period in peer-to-peer transactions. While certainly sufficient for most situations, this is one limitation worth highlighting about the service. One other limitation comes from a lack of instant account notifications when a teen spends money. Parents will have insight into their teens’ activity through monthly statements.

One safeguard worth highlighting to concerned parents: Cash App prohibits transactions at certain locations or for different types of services. Liquor stores? Nope. Online dating sites: Not happening. Gambling: Think again. These curbs can assuage some anxiety. We recommend having important money conversations to teach your kids about managing money.

To add a teen age 13 to 18 to your Cash App account, a parent or guardian over the age of 18 will need to set up their own account as legal owner and approve their teen to join the account. You can download Cash App today.

Related: Best Tax Software

2. Apple Wallet (Apple Cash Family Account)

Apple Cash Family signup

Apple Cash Family is a powerful family sharing feature of the Apple Pay and Apple Wallet system. Parents can set up an Apple Cash account for their children as part of their Apple Cash Family account. We’ll note, however, by adding your children to your Apple Cash Family account, security checks might require more time to make funds available to your children. However, you can send or receive a significant amount of money should you have the need: up to $2,000 per transaction or within a seven-day period.

Apple Cash Family gives parents robust monitoring and oversight of their kids’ money within the account. Further, since Apple has a robust brand presence and acceptance from a huge number of retailers, an Apple Cash Family account is arguably one of the closest options to physical cash on the market.

Related: Best Online Jobs for Teens to Earn Money Working From Home

3. Google Pay

Google Pay signup

For parents interested in equipping their kids with a financial solution within the Google universe, you might want to consider enrolling in Google Pay for your kids. Teens as young as 13 can use the service by having their parents add them as a payment method to their account. From there they can set limits and safeguards to use on specified apps or in-app purchases within the Google Play store. In other words, only digitally on the Google Play store platform—not at physical locations.

Teens can only make certain purchases with Google Pay, such as apps, books, movies, games, TV shows, and magazine issues. But they can’t use it to buy subscriptions, physical devices, outside Google Pay purchases, funding a Google Play balance. Nor can it be used to send money from parent to teen, nor the teen to other people.

Related: Best Debit Cards for Kids

Prepaid Debit Cards for Minors

4. Greenlight (Best Paid Debit Card for Kids and Teens)

greenlight sign up new
  • Available: Sign up here
  • Price: Free 1-month trial. Core: $4.99/mo. Max: $9.98/mo. Infinity: $14.98/mo. (All plans include cards for up to 5 children)

The Greenlight prepaid debit card allows kids to begin spending, but provides parents with peace of mind by giving them control over where their kids can spend money. Parents also can choose to receive alerts that tell them when, and how much, money is spent on the Greenlight debit card.

Greenlight works like a prepaid debit card, allowing you to transfer money onto the card for your child to pay for expenses at approved locations. You can choose how much money to load onto the card, and your child will be cleared to make approved purchases so long as a money balance backs up the card.

If your child asks for extra money to get added to the prepaid debit card, you can have them take a photo of the purchase they want to make and receive your approval. This gives you control and allows you to have discussions with your child about why a purchase might be a good or bad idea.

And if your child has a job, they can add their own funds to the card as well.

Each monthly Greenlight subscription includes debit cards for up to five kids. Replacement cards cost $3.50 each but are free the first time. If you need to replace your card quickly, you can get express delivery for $24.99. The company also offers a personalized card, with your own photo or design, for $9.98 per year.

Greenlight boasts numerous other features, too. For instance, parents can open an investment account for kids to get their children investing in stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) for the first time.

Greenlight also offers monthly savings rewards based on your tier: 1% per annum for Core members, 2% per annum for Max, and 5% per annum for Infinity. You may set up “Parent-Paid Interest” between you and your child. This allows you to foot the bill and pay interest on accounts for up to five kids.

The Greenlight debit card is a good choice for parents looking to teach their kids the importance of saving money and making prudent financial decisions. This financial product can be an effective learning tool for helping kids to understand why saving should be a priority and how to simplify paying an allowance or tracking chores.

The Greenlight prepaid debit card for teens has no minimum age requirements but recommends starting at age 6 or older.

Read more in our Greenlight Card review.

Related: 8 Best Allowance and Chore Apps for Kids [Easier Family Life]

5. GoHenry (Best for Customer Service)

gohenry signup acorns new
  • Available: Sign up here
  • Price: 1 month free. Individual: $4.99/child/mo. Family: $9.98/mo. for up to 4 children

GoHenry is a financial solution for minors that includes an app, prepaid debit cards, and even financial lessons. Parents are given an online account that’s linked to, and allows them to oversee and manage, individual accounts for each of their children via both the GoHenry app and the online account portal.

Each child will receive their own GoHenry debit card; you can choose from 45 different designs or create your own customized card for $4.99. Each card is governed by parental controls you can set for your children.

What’s nice about GoHenry is that kids can only spend whatever money is available on the card—and thus parents don’t need to worry about costly overdraft fees or their kids accruing debt.

When you open a GoHenry account, you should receive your children’s debit cards in the mail seven to eight business days later. Once you do, you can set up events such as automatic weekly allowance transfers into your children’s accounts, real-time spending alerts, and one-off or weekly spending limits. You can also keep your children’s spending in check by choosing the stores where your kids can shop, and even blocking/unblocking the card as needed.

With time, the controls provided by the app and the guidance you offer can help your kids develop good money habits around earning, saving, spending, and giving.

But GoHenry really sticks out as one of the best debit cards for kids for customer service. They offer everyday phone availability, email access, and social media engagement, ensuring users can solve their problems quickly and with little hassle.

GoHenry has no minimum age requirements but recommends starting at age 6 or older.

Learn more by reading our GoHenry debit card review.

Related: GoHenry vs. Greenlight

Does PayPal Offer a PayPal Student Account?

teenager teen daughter parent mother finance bank account online

PayPal no longer offers a PayPal Student Account, as this was phased out in 2016. To open your own PayPal account, you’ll need to be least 18 years old. You can link a bank account to your personal account and transfer money online to your PayPal account to take advantages of PayPal services.

Related: Best Quicken Alternatives

Does PayPal Offer a Prepaid Debit Card?

mother daughter teen smartphone app online

Yes. PayPal offers a Free Mastercard debit card that functions as a prepaid debit card. You can PayPal prepaid debit cards to eat, drink and shop anywhere Debit Mastercard is accepted. Simply open a PayPal account and request a card.

Can You Use PayPal With a Google Pay Account?

google assistant app

Yes, you can add your PayPal account to Google Pay. Once you’ve added your PayPal account to your Google Wallet, you can use it anywhere Google Pay is accepted. Parents can connect a bank or credit card to the Google Pay account to transfer money into it.


About the Author

Riley Adams is the Founder and CEO of Young and the Invested. He is a licensed CPA who worked at Google as a Senior Financial Analyst overseeing advertising incentive programs for the company’s largest advertising partners and agencies. Previously, he worked as a utility regulatory strategy analyst at Entergy Corporation for six years in New Orleans.

His work has appeared in major publications like Kiplinger, MarketWatch, MSN, TurboTax, Nasdaq, Yahoo! Finance, The Globe and Mail, and CNBC’s Acorns. Riley currently holds areas of expertise in investing, taxes, real estate, cryptocurrencies and personal finance where he has been cited as an authoritative source in outlets like CNBC, Time, NBC News, APM’s Marketplace, HuffPost, Business Insider, Slate, NerdWallet, Investopedia, The Balance and Fast Company.

Riley holds a Masters of Science in Applied Economics and Demography from Pennsylvania State University and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Finance from Centenary College of Louisiana.