A method and apparatus is provided for executing electronic transactions with teens, especially where such transactions are limited only to those vendors that have been approved by the teen's parents. In one embodiment, a virtual automatic teller machine (VATM) is provided in which funds are transferred from an existing account, such as a saving account, checking account, or credit card account, to an Internet passport account. The VATM account mimics a bank account, i.e. it gives the user the appearance of an ATM machine. Functionally, the VATM allows the user to transfer funds from an existing account into the Internet passport account. The VATM does this by emulating an ATM machine as it appears to the Automated Clearing House (ACH) system. The ACH system is a separate network from the Internet. Rather than acting as a trustee for a teen account, the invention provides a method and apparatus that allows a merchant to withdraw funds directly from the teen's account automatically at the time of purchase. In this way, the invention provides a system in which funds are not held, thereby eliminating cash advance fees and liabilities associated with trusteeship. A second embodiment of the invention, a global gift certificate, is provided. The preferred second embodiment of the invention is configured to appear as a debit card to the ACH system. In this regard, the gift certificate thus generated is truly global in that it is accepted anywhere it is presented.