ING Direct, in an effort to reach out to younger customers and their parents, have launched a new teen checking account called MONEY. The tagline — “That’s so MONEY!” — might be the only bad part.

ING Direct, the legendary online bank, typically offers competitive rates and terms. Not surprisingly, they didn’t change much about their formula for their new teen checking account product, MONEY, which we first heard about back in August. But like most bank accounts for young people, the new MONEY account is marketed towards parents, too. “Tired of being the human ATM?” the website asks, touting the new product as a “debit card and bank account that you and your teen can manage together.”

The account is being pitched as a good way for parents to help teens on their way to financial independence.

“Learning to manage your finances shouldn’t be any different than learning to drive a car,” said CEO Arkadi Kuhlmann, in his prepared remarks. He described MONEY as “a learner’s permit for personal finance.”

It’s a pretty lenient learner’s permit, though. It’s a full-featured checking account with a free MasterCard debit card with PayPass capabilities, for teens on the go. MONEY gives teens almost full access to their money — there is a daily transaction limit of $500, thankfully — and gives parents the ability to monitor their child’s bank activity, and of course, make deposits in the account. Parents can even opt-in to get real-time text messages about account activity: balance alerts, transaction confirmations, and the like.

Best of all, like most ING Direct products, the MONEY account offers great rates. There are no fees and no minimum deposit requirements. The account also earns interest at 0.25% APY. And, despite the fact that ING Direct is an internet bank, teen customers will have access to more than 35,000 ATMs for free, through ING Direct’s Allpoint network.

Willy Staley

Willy Staley is a staff writer and columnist for His columns focus on banking, monetary policy and culture.
  • NKT

    So, why is the tagline the only bad part…? Following up on comments like that is usually nice…

    • Anonymous

      That’s fair. I guess it just struck me as something a 50-something ad man might think that young people say to one another, but they’d be wrong. In fact, it’s almost a direct quote from the film ‘Swingers’, which was about Gen Xers in LA in the 90’s, living in a scene that was infatuated with the culture and music of the 50’s. 

      It just doesn’t seem relevant to teenagers’ interests today, and that’s why I think the tagline is bad. Though, considering that the product does explicitly target parents, maybe the tagline is good for its own purposes — it sounds young to an older person, but not so young that it’s alienating.