CFSI Nonprofit Exec: Prepaid Could be ‘Anchor’ for Broad Financial Services for Changing Society (March 7, 2013)
March 7, 2013
“Banklike” card products, such as American Express Co.’s Bluebird, Chase Liquid and Green Dot’s GoBank, that target underserved customers who are disproportionately “young and mobile” are just the tip of the iceberg of innovative new products emerging to serve a changing society, according to Rachel Schneider, senior vice president for insight and analytics for the nonprofit Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI). Speaking on Wed., March 6 at Prepaid Expo USA in Orlando, Fla., Schneider said it’s hard to believe that just a few years ago “underserved and unbanked” customers were a relatively obscure topic. “We think prepaid has the opportunity to become the anchor in a financial services relationship,” Schneider said, noting that “real-time account-balance management is probably the most important thing” underserved consumers have gained from the explosion of high-profile new prepaid card products that provide multiple free methods for monitoring account activity. To drive adoption and build momentum for this new crop of products, financial services providers “almost have no choice but to innovate,” she said, adding that an essential new requirement is “treating [the] customer with clarity and transparency all the way along.”
CFSI is working with a number of financial institutions and startups by sharing data and providing suggestions that may lead to the development of more such products, Schneider said, and prepaid is likely to play a key role in many new products on the horizon.