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Is Osper Safe?

Osper is one of the most secure card products currently available for under-18s across the pre-paid debit card and banking industry.

We have developed a card which has a number of features, most of which are unique to Osper, designed to make spending as safe as possible for under-18s. These features include:

  • 100% transparency: Parents have 100% transparency and real-time visibility of spending through the parent App, allowing them to monitor transactions at all times.
  • No overdrafts: Young people can only spend the money that’s been loaded onto their Osper card; it’s not a credit card.
  • Built-in spending limits: There are daily load and withdrawal limits on Osper Cards and we monitor for unusual card activity which could be fraud-related. Read more about Osper Card limits here.
  • Parent-approved ordering: The age at which parents decide to order an Osper Card for their children is completely up to them. Osper Cards are available for young people from the age of eight, so parents can order them for a child at any age beyond this, up to 18 years.
  • Restricted age-inappropriate transactions: Osper will not work in certain merchants by default. This allows us to block purchases from some merchants including bars, off-licences, casinos, online gambling and massage parlours in order to protect children from inappropriate spending. This system works in most normal usage scenarios but it relies on merchants listing themselves appropriately. For example, a pub that serves food can classify itself as a restaurant so a young person would theoretically be able to buy alcohol there. However, as with all in-person sales of age-restricted items, the merchant has a legal responsibility to ID the person making the purchase. If you find any particular merchant is incorrectly classified, please inform us at help@osper.com.
  • Online spending blocks: Choose upfront whether to block online spending then change on a per-child basis. Read more here.
  • Simple card locking: If an Osper Card is lost or stolen, both young people and parents can lock their card directly in the app to block all purchases. It’s just as simple to unlock the card later, if it’s found again.
  • Text alerts: Osper provides text alerts when transactions are declined, adding an additional opportunity to monitor attempted spending and spot inappropriate purchases.

If you have any concerns or questions, please contact us via the in-app chat or by emailing help@osper.com.

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How is Osper different to a children's bank account?

Osper is not a bank. Our values are fully focused around young people. We deeply believe in our mission to empower young people to manage money responsibly.

Here are some of the ways in which we've tried to build something young people and parents love:

  • Easy and safe to setup – You can get up and running in under two minutes, for free, from mobile or web. Fraud and identity checks are done in real time, meaning no branch visits. Though occasionally we may need a further form of ID
  • One app, two logins – A secure banking app with separate logins for both parents and young people to manage the same Osper Card. Parents can manage and load money for multiple children through one app and young people can manage money themselves with the tools built for them.
  • Automatic Allowance with Alerts – Set up an automatic Osper Allowance to encourage budgeting and get alerts whenever the Allowance is loaded.
  • Instant loading – Parents can instantly load money from their debit card onto their child’s Osper Card account, meaning a young person will never be without money in an emergency.
  • Monitoring spend – Instantly check balances and monitor transactions and get Osper Alerts by text when a transaction is declined due to low balance.
  • Limits and category blocking – Osper Cards have in-built spend limits and also automatically block certain adult categories such as pubs and online gambling sites.
  • Card lock – Simple card lock function both young people and parents can use directly from the app to block all purchases if an Osper Card is lost or stolen.
  • No overdrafts – Young people can only spend the money the money that’s been loaded onto their Osper card; it’s not a credit card.
  • Our mission – Most importantly we're committed to building a tool that's useful for young people and families. So if you think we're missing something, just ask! We'll definitely listen.

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Does Osper replace cash?

Cash is good for learning the basics of money – especially at a young age. As young people get older, start buying things on their phones or online or are going out on their own, cash is not always right.

For a start it's easy to lose, and once lost it can't be recovered. You also can't measure how much you've spent or keep track of what you're spending it on. Cash can't be spent online, which means having to borrow parents’ credit cards. Finally, cash can't be given to someone who’s 10 miles away and stuck at a bus stop!

  • With Osper all money is safe and secure on the lockable Osper Card.
  • It’s really simple! Osper Cardholders know how much money they have and where their money has been spent.
  • Parents can also track saving/spending and send money to an Osper Card from anywhere, anytime, instantly.
  • Only spend what's on the Osper Card – like cash, once it's gone it's gone.

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Is Osper like a credit card?

Osper is not a credit card (and isn't anything like a credit card). With your Osper Prepaid Debit Card you can only spend the money on the card.

  • As it's prepaid, you can never spend more than is loaded onto your Osper Card.
  • You can never go overdrawn.
  • When you spend money it's instantly taken from your Osper Card – not at the end of the month.
  • Our aim is always to help young people manage money responsibly.

Best of all, we find that Osper Cards build awareness and move families away from the bank of mum and dad. Giving a young person responsibility for a regular allowance through Osper sends a clear message – it gives you a budget to manage, and when that money is gone, it’s gone!

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Does Osper block age-inappropriate purchases online?

All Osper Cards are blocked Online by default. It’s easy for parents to enable online spending during the activation process or by changing the setting on a per-child basis in the Osper App.

Restricted Merchants

Osper will not work in certain merchants by default. This allows us to block purchases from some merchants including online alcohol-selling merchants and gambling sites, to protect children from inappropriate spending. However, this system does rely on merchants listing themselves appropriately.

Generalist Websites

In terms of online purchases, retail technology is not yet sophisticated enough to restrict the purchase of individual age restricted items from generalist websites such as Tesco or Amazon so there is a risk a young person could purchase items inappropriate for their age on the internet if the merchant chooses not to age-verify before completing the transaction.

Adult Content

Unfortunately, there is currently no online merchant category code for adult content providers, which would allow us to block that area outright. To that end, Osper has joined the ATVOD (Authority for Television on Demand) consultation and has been lobbying for the introduction of an adult content category code. We are also exploring functionality to alert parents immediately if a young person purchases inappropriate material from a mainstream adult content provider.

Osper is committed to working with retail and technology partners to ensure that we continue to offer as much protection online as possible and help to solve this industry-wide problem. We will continue to improve our services based on industry developments and will always take on board feedback from our customers.

We want to ensure parents understand these risks and can make the call on when their child is ready to take on the responsibility that comes with being able to shop online.

You can read more about how Online Spending works on Osper here.

If you have any concerns we encourage you to contact us via the in-app chat or by emailing help@osper.com.

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How does Osper work?

Using Osper is simple, there are just 5 steps to get going.

  1. Order: Parents can order up to four Osper Cards for their children using our order form. When they complete the form, we run identity checks on parents electronically in real time. Osper Cards are then printed and sent to your family by post.
  2. Activate: Once your family receives your Osper Cards, you simply activate them in the Osper App. During this process, parents also attach their personal debit card, which is used to load money onto the Osper Cards from the Parent’s Osper App.
  3. Load: Once the App has been downloaded, Parents can choose to load money onto the Osper Cards either as a one-off load or through setting up a monthly or weekly allowance. See detailed instructions on how to do this here.
  4. Use: Once activated and loaded with money, the Osper Cards can be used wherever anywhere Mastercard® debit cards are accepted both at home and abroad.
  5. Manage: The Osper App works on both iOS and Android devices and has logins for both parents and young people. Parents, as well as being able to load money, can see how their family are using their Cards. Young people can check their balance and see where and how they have used their Cards.

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How do we join Osper?

First of all parents need to order an Osper Card from the Order Osper Card page. We will then verify their identity and create their cards, before putting them in the post. Parents and Young People will then need to activate their Osper Cards together, including downloading the Osper App.

Young People will need:

  • To be 8-18 years old
  • Access to an Apple or Android device (young people can use their parent’s device if they don’t own one)

Parents will need:

  • A UK debit card to load money from
  • A mobile number
  • An email address
  • An iOS or Android device
  • To be a UK resident

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How do I activate my Osper Card?

To start using your Osper Card once it has arrived you'll need to activate it through the Osper App.

You will need:

  • The Parent or guardian who ordered the card and the email address and password they added when ordering
  • An iPhone, iPad or Android device with the Osper App installed
  • Parents and guardians will need their personal debit card for loading money (no credit cards, sorry)

To start activation, log in to the app as a parent and follow the simple steps. Once completed you'll be able to load up money and start using the new Card!

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How do I get my PIN?

Getting your PIN for the first time is quick and simple. Once you have activated your Osper card, just follow these steps to retrieve your PIN:

  1. Log in to the young person Osper App using your username and password. (Make sure you're using the young person's login details as you won’t be able to do this when logged in as a parent.)
  2. Go to the option in the menu 'PIN reminder' and hold the 'view my PIN' button
  3. Memorise your PIN and don't tell anyone!

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How do I load up money onto the Osper Card?

Parents can load up money directly from their Osper App. This money will be transferred instantly from parents’ debit cards directly to their children’s Osper Card. That money cannot be transferred to any other location. Every time money is loaded, we email young people and parents to notify them.

Parents can also set up an Osper Allowance - this is a regular fixed amount which is loaded on to an Osper card monthly or weekly. Notification is sent to both parent and child when the amount has been loaded.

Over time, we will introduce other ways for money to be loaded onto the Osper Card - for example, inviting family members to give money.

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Where does my Osper Card work?

Osper Cards work everywhere Mastercard is accepted. Find your nearest ATM.

For safety reasons, Osper Cards cannot be used in certain types of shop by default (for example, gambling, some establishments which serve alcohol and dating services).

We are reliant on merchants being accurately categorised to enable our blocking. Please be aware that from time to time, merchants are incorrectly categorised in the coding system (if you find this to be the case, please inform us at help@osper.com).

Your Osper Card can also be enabled for online purchases. Parents will need to turn on online spending during the activation process or in the Osper App.

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Don't see your question
listed here?

Go to Osper Supportbase

Join Osper for free.

Free for your first month, then from £2.50 per child per month.
Membership fee paid by parents not young people.
Cancel at any time at no cost.

Order Osper Cards

The Osper app is available for iPhone, iPad and Android.