What do you get when you form a partnership between the blue chips at American Express and a company called Riot Games?
A prepaid debit card aimed at the millions of 18- to 24-year-olds who are dedicated players of the wildly popular League of Legends online video game.
In case your kids haven???t told you, League of Legends was created by Riot Games in 2009. It???s part of a gaming genre in which participants compete against each other in tournaments that are streamed online. The games can be played for free, but players must buy what are called Riot Points to gain access to specific features or characters to advance their gamesmanship.
American Express rolled out the card in mid-August with the motive of making banking inroads with the millennial generation of teens and young adults. A company executive cited 32 million male gamers worldwide who play League of Legends a ??ústaggering??ù 1 billion hours a month as a reason for partnering with Riot Games. That???s a lot of potential American Express customers.
Prepaid cards, which act like debit cards, have become popular alternatives to traditional bank accounts and credit cards, especially for millennials. You load the card with a fixed amount of money and use it instead of cash to make purchases. Once the money is gone, you can???t use the card until you feed it more cash.
Only you and your gamer will know whether there???s reason for concern about money misadventures. The other important thing to remember, however, is that the card can be a useful financial tool. Just use it wisely if you want to stay in the game.