Occupy Wall Street Movement Seeks Donations to Launch Prepaid Card (Sept. 23, 2013)
Sept. 23, 2013
Occupy Wall Street’s second anniversary last week did not draw large crowds, but organizers are pushing forward with plans to launch a reloadable prepaid card backed by a nonprofit cooperative, a spokesperson tells Paybefore. The Occupy Card, envisioned as an FDIC-insured Visa prepaid card, is designed so that anyone—including millions excluded by banks—may qualify for it, and fees will be among the industry’s lowest, according to the spokesperson. The card’s backers have not announced a prospective bank or program manager to support the card, as the organization is seeking donations to get off the ground, he notes.
Initially the Occupy Card will cost users $1.99 to purchase and include a 99-cent monthly fee, but the co-op’s goal is to eliminate most fees when the card gains sufficient scale, the group explains on its Website, www.occupycooperative.com. Any revenues generated will go back to the co-op’s members. Other fees will include $1.95 for ATM withdrawals and 99 cents for automated telephone account information or $2 for a live agent-assisted customer service call. Adding funds via direct deposit or checks (after clearing) will be free; users also will be able to add cash through general prepaid retail card reload channels, such as Green Dot MoneyPak or Walmart Rapid Reload, at standard rates. Occupy Card’s backers also plan to instruct users on how to avoid fees. “We will send clear instructions to our users on how to minimize fees,” including using free cash-back features at participating retailers rather than withdrawing cash at ATMs, the spokesperson says.
Occupy Money Cooperative, incorporated in July, has six volunteer board members, including author Carne Ross; former Deutsche Bank exec and financial consultant Chris Brammer; Cornell University law professor Robert Hockett and a handful of other former tech execs, engineers and entrepreneurs.