2015 Paybefore Awards: Top of Wallet
The everyday prepaid spending card that provides the right mix of features, functionality and pricing to earn the coveted spot at the top of consumers’ wallets.
Best-in Category: Balance Financial Prepaid MasterCard
Convenient, low-cost and full-featured consumer experience for managing personal finances—linked to a broad array of services through 8,500 Walgreens and Duane Reade stores.
- Cards can be linked to Walgreens Balance Rewards to earn points for every card load and in-store shopping transaction. Points can be redeemed for discounts on future Walgreens’ purchases.
- Cards loadable with cash, check proceeds or PIN debit.
- Free ATM cash withdrawals at ATM-equipped Walgreens stores. Monthly fees waived with $1,000+ load.
- No cost to cardholders who use direct deposit and visit Walgreens or Duane Reade for cash needs.
- Money transfer services available through Western Union via in-store kiosks.
- Full-featured iPhone and Android app.
Fees: $2.95, monthly; $2.95 out-of-network ATM withdrawal; $.95 online bill pay; 3 percent, international transactions.
Bottom Line: With more than 8,500 convenient Walgreens/Duane Reed locations, consumers have a service-rich, low- or no-fee way to manage their financial lives no matter where they are, with the added benefit of linkable rewards points.
Winner: T-Mobile Visa Prepaid Card
GPR card and mobile app transform smartphone into a personal money manager with a secure way to pay bills, shop and deposit checks while on the go.
- Mobile app delivers remote deposit capture, bill pay, online shopping and P2P payments function.
- For T-Mobile customers who reload at stores and withdraw from in-network ATMs, there is no cost.
- Surcharge-free ATM network
Fees: Generally, no fees for T-Mobile customers. Otherwise, $4, activation; $5, monthly (waived with $500 load); $3 – $3.95, reload (waived with $300 load); 1 percent ($5 minimum) of face value, payroll or government check remote deposit; 4 percent ($5 minimum) of face value, other check remote deposit; $2 out-of-network ATM withdrawal; $.50 ATM balance inquiry; $1 international ATM balance inquiry; $2, teller cash withdrawal; $6, replacement card; $5, secondary card; $5.95 check request; $3, paper statement; 2 percent international transaction.
Bottom Line: With fee-free options for T-Mobile customers, combined with rich features, this product promotes rapid adoption among the wireless base of more than 50 million and provides a cost-effective solution for all Americans looking for a better alternative to checking accounts.
Winner: Walmart MoneyCard
Green Dot Corporation
Program offers three versions of GPR cards, utilizing Visa and MasterCard networks, with varying functionality and features—and corresponding pricing. Tiered services provide customers more options to choose the product right for them.
Partners: Green Dot Bank, issuer; Visa and MasterCard, networks; Green Dot Corporation, processor and program manager; Walmart, retailer
- Segmented GPR offering so cardholders don’t pay for services they don’t need or use.
- Three flavors: (a) Basic–make online and POS purchases; (b) Plus–gain access to money transfer and online bill pay; (c) Preferred–personalized card design, savings purse and free reloads.
- 24K surcharge-fee ATMs
Fees: Basic – $1.88 activation; $3 monthly; $3, Rapid Reload. Plus – $3 activation, $3 monthly (waived with $1,000 load); $3, Rapid Reload. Preferred – $4 activation; $3 monthly (waived with $500 load). All – $4.95, Green Dot Network reload; $2, out-of-network ATM withdrawal; $1, ATM balance inquiry; 2 percent, international transaction.
Bottom Line: Equips unbanked and underserved consumers with the financial tools to manage their money and provides a reliable payments service with easy access and availability.
ACE Elite Visa Prepaid Debit Card
ACE Cash Express
Univision MasterCard Prepaid Card