Oink (payment service)

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Virtual Piggy
Public
Industry ecommerce
Founded 2008
Founder Jo Webber
Headquarters Los Angeles, London
Area served
United States, Canada, Europe
Key people
Jo Webber
(Founder, CEO),
Pradeep Ittycheria Co Founder CTO
Products Youth Payment System
Number of employees
40
Slogan Youth Empowered, Parent Approved
Website www.oink.com

Oink is a payment enabler that allows children to safely make purchases online or in-store while keeping parents in control of all aspects of spending. The technology is COPPA-compliant,[1] PCI DSS Level 1 compliant[2] and TRUSTe certified.[3] The company has been featured in many articles as the first company to digitize a teen's monthly allowance. Forbes referred to the service as "PayPal for Kids".[4]

Oink is notable for being the first, and currently the only service that enables transactions for under-13 users that are COPPA-compliant. This means the service is the only way for someone 12 or younger to make an online purchase without violating these laws regulated by the FTC, which heavily restrict which personal information a company is permitted to collect from a child. Because Oink's checkout process only requires the child to provide a username and password to check out, these issues are avoided, keeping the process safe.[5]

Oink is the only COPPA-compliant payment technology designed to allow retailers and game publishers to reach under-21 consumers in a safe, legal and effective manner.

On January 28, 2014, Oink announced that over one million users have signed up for their family wallet solution to shop safely, and securely online.

On November 21, 2014, Oink announced the launch of their prepaid card on the Discover Network - allowing parents to control their children's in-store spending as well.[6]

The notability of this technology was recognized by Frost & Sullivan, who gave Virtual Piggy their 2012 Entrepreneurial Company of the Year award in Digital Media. Their report details the innovative nature of the service, and the impact they anticipate it will have on eCommerce.[7]

Company history[edit]

Virtual Piggy initially launched in 2008 as a product of Moggle Inc., located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[8] Founder Dr. Jo Webber and co-founder Pradeep Ittycheria created Virtual Piggy to provide a safe way for children to transact online.[9] It became a publicly traded company in October 2008.[10] In March 2011, the Virtual Piggy service was awarded the TRUSTe Children’s Privacy Seal, and was certified COPPA compliant.[11][12] March 2012 saw Founder and Chairman Dr. Jo Webber take on the role of CEO.[9][13] The company relocated to Hermosa Beach, California in June 2012. In Fall 2011, the company dropped the Moggle Inc. name, and became Virtual Piggy, Inc.[10] Virtual Piggy's Board of Advisors includes a number of notable celebrities, including Stedman Graham, Sela Ward and John Paul DeJoria[2] It is publicly traded at the symbol VPIG.

As of December 4, 2013, the name of the Virtual Piggy youth payments solution has been changed to Oink. The corporate name remains as Virtual Piggy.

Functionality[edit]

Virtual Piggy's service works by allowing a parent to register an account, which can then set up parameters for child accounts. Because the parent account stores all personal information, a child is able to make a purchase without providing any.[14] A parent first registers their own account. The parent can then assign individual child accounts to multiple children. Within each child account, the parent is able to control how much money is available to the child, how often they receive new funds (a monthly allowance), which merchants the child is allowed to buy from, and any desired spending limits. The parent is also able to "turn off" the child accounts, and request notifications when purchases are made. The child is able to login to their account, which tracks recent purchases, funds available, savings goals and charitable donations.[15]

User experience[edit]

Upon checkout, the child chooses the Oink payment option. The child is then prompted to enter their Oink username and password. If there are sufficient funds in the account, and the purchase matches the parameters set up by the parent, the transaction is completed.[15]

Because the child never provides any personally identifiable information as a part of the purchase process (such as a name, residential address, email address or credit card), the transaction is COPPA compliant. The merchant is able to ship any physical items to the child using the mailing address provided in the parent account.

Platform[edit]

Oink has integrated into many of the world's major payment networks including Chase Paymentech, Stripe, Worldpay, PayPal, FirstData, ePay, AuthorizeNet and CyberSource.

The Virtual Piggy payment option appears on many leading teen and tween brands websites and online gaming companies,[16] including K'Nex, Claire's, Deb Shops, Fathead, Ty, Inc., Habbo, World of Tanks, and Woozworld. Virtual Piggy has integrated with major e-commerce platforms including eBay's Magento platform, DemandWare, Oracle's ATG, OsCommerce and LiveGamer.

The company also has marketplace for digital gift cards that children can safely purchase, located at mall.oink.com. The store offers digital gift cards from brands like Zappos, Barnes & Noble, Sephora and Foot Locker. Children can also donate to the charity of their choice at donate.virtualpiggy.com.

In the news[edit]

Virtual Piggy has received some press in regards to unauthorized child spending, and how its technology presents a good safeguard for parents.[17] The Wall Street Journal,[18] Forbes,[19] and The Los Angeles Times[20] have published features on the company in regards to this issue. Virtual Piggy Founder and CEO Dr. Jo Webber has also been featured on numerous outlets promoting Virtual Piggy, including WJLA-TV's Let's Talk Live,[21] and Fox News Live.[22] Virtual Piggy's Advisory Board Member and Emmy Award winning actress Sela Ward has appeared on Morning Joe[23] and The Rachael Ray Show[24] to discuss Virtual Piggy.

Virtual Piggy appears in Kiplinger's Best of Everything 2013 report, named as the Best Savings Coach[25]

With the launch of the Oink Card, several members of Oink's Advisory Board were spotted discussing the Oink Card in the News. John Paul DeJoria discussed the Oink Card on WSJ Live [26] and Bloomberg TV [27] in November 2014.

Patents[edit]

Oink has been awarded three patents and has several patents pending 8,812,395 System and Method for Virtual Piggy Bank 8,762,230 System and Method for Virtual Piggy Bank Wishlist 8,650,621 System and Method for Verifying the Age of an Internet User When the user gets a patent, it has been approved by the government

Location[edit]

Oink is located in Hermosa Beach, California, and London.[28]

References[edit]

[29]

[30]

[31]

[32]

[33]

[34]

[35]

[36]

[37]

[38]

[39]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Virtual Piggy™ : Company Profile". Virtualpiggy.com. Retrieved 2012-08-13. 
  2. ^ a b Virtual Piggy™ : News & Events
  3. ^ http://www.virtualpiggy.com/news_articles/TRUSTe-Moggle-Case-Study.pdf
  4. ^ Forbes. "Virtual Piggy Puts Allowances Online - Could it be PayPal for Kids?". Forbes. 
  5. ^ http://www.finovate.com/fall12vid/virtualpiggy.html
  6. ^ http://www.finextra.com/news/announcement.aspx?pressreleaseid=57817
  7. ^ http://www.virtualpiggy.com/sites/all/themes/virtualpiggy/images/VirtualPiggyAwardWriteUp.pdf
  8. ^ "Business Day: Virtual Piggy Inc.". New York Times. Retrieved 5 October 2012. 
  9. ^ a b Virtual Piggy™ : Company Profile
  10. ^ a b Quotes and Investor Information for OTCQX, OTCQB, OTC Pink and other OTC Stocks
  11. ^ Moggle Inc. Receives the TRUSTe Privacy Seal and COPPA Certification | Business Wire
  12. ^ Virtual Piggy™ : Frequently Asked Questions
  13. ^ Virtual Piggy Appoints Innovative Founder and Chairman As CEO | Business Wire
  14. ^ "Virtual Piggy lets children get online allowances - Yahoo! News". News.yahoo.com. 2012-03-12. Retrieved 2012-08-13. 
  15. ^ a b Schicktanz, Julie (2012-08-01). "Virtual Piggy's Kid-Friendly Online Payment Platform". Finovate. Retrieved 2012-08-13. 
  16. ^ http://www.oink.com/merchants
  17. ^ Osborne, Joe (2012-03-14). "Afraid your kid could rack up $1,400 on FarmVille? Try Virtual Piggy". Blog.games.com. Retrieved 2012-08-13. 
  18. ^ Schoenberger, Chana R. (2012-07-24). "Letting Kids Shop Online, With Controls - The Juggle - WSJ". Blogs.wsj.com. Retrieved 2012-08-13. 
  19. ^ Dave Thier (2012-04-18). "Virtual Piggy Launches to Help Parents Manage Kids' Online Spending". Forbes. Retrieved 2012-08-13. 
  20. ^ White, Ronald S. (2014-08-04). "Virtual Piggy Banking on Kids Making Parent-Monitored Online Payments". Latimes.com. Retrieved 2014-08-04. 
  21. ^ http://www.wjla.com/blogs/lets-talk-live/2012/11/virtual-piggy-teaching-your-kids-how-to-manage-money-17211.html
  22. ^ http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/2101269838001/
  23. ^ "Afternoon Joe". MSNBC. 
  24. ^ "The Rachael Ray Show". 
  25. ^ Kiplinger. "Best of Everything 2013". Kiplinger. Retrieved 8 November 2013. 
  26. ^ "WSJ Live". WSJ Live. 
  27. ^ "Taking Stock". Bloomberg TV. 
  28. ^ Hixon, Michael (2012-07-09). "The Beach Reporter". Tbrnews.com. Retrieved 2012-08-13. 
  29. ^ "The Best of Everything, 2013", Kiplinger's Personal Finance, December 2013. Retrieved on 7 November 2013.
  30. ^ "Virtual Piggy, A Paypal For Minors, Rebrands As Oink ", Tech Crunch, December 2013. Retrieved on 04 December 2013.
  31. ^ "Oink Payments Accelerates Beyond 1 Million Consumers", Business Wire, January 2014. Retrieved on 28 January 2014.
  32. ^ "Oink to provide safe youth payments for Discover Network merchants", GamesBeat, February 2014. Retrieved on 12 February 2014.
  33. ^ "In a cashless society, child gamers are moving to digital currency", Polygon, February 2014. Retrieved on 12 February 2014.
  34. ^ "Kid-Friendly Payment Options Coming To Consoles This Year", gameinformer, March 2014. Retrieved on 19 March 2014.
  35. ^ "Oink helps parents monitor and control their kid's in-app purchases", engadget, March 2014. Retrieved on 21 March 2014.
  36. ^ "Show Them the Money", L.A. Parent, April 2014. Retrieved on 07 April 2014.
  37. ^ "Oink partners with Bandai Namco, Crytek Ubisoft and more for teen payment service", Polygon, June 2014. Retrieved on 10 June 2014.
  38. ^ "Oink CEO Jo Webber Talks Ubisoft Partnership and the Future Parental Controls in a Digital World", Playstation Lifestyle, June 2014. Retrieved on 16 June 2014.
  39. ^ "Oink moves beyond the piggy bank with prepaid card launch this summer", Built In Los Angeles, June 2014. Retrieved on 24 June 2014.