The US Government, and Treasury in particular, has moved forward with an effort to support greater financial inclusion for the unbanked and underserved with this announcement that Bonneville Bank as the issuer and Green Dot as the program manager will be introducing a prepaid product for tax return recipients.
Beginning the week of January 18, 600,000 letters will be mailed nationwide to low- and moderate-income individuals, who are likely to be unbanked, inviting them to have their 2010 federal tax refund direct deposited to a MyAccountCard prepaid debit card. The MyAccountCard is a reloadable, prepaid Visa® debit card that is accepted at stores, online and everywhere Visa debit is accepted.
This is different in a significant way from the program conducted for Social Security in that this prepaid card delivers significant new financial services capabilities that are not enabled on the Direct Express product:
The card can also be used to conduct everyday financial transactions. The cards feature free online bill pay, free ATM cash withdrawals at nearly 15,000 ATMs nationwide, free cash back at participating retail stores and free customer service. Furthermore, like all Green Dot products, there are never any penalty fees or overdraft fees of any kind. MyAccountCard debit cards can be loaded with proceeds from payroll or government direct deposit and can be reloaded with cash at over 50,000 retail stores nationwide via the Green Dot Network.
Perhaps most interesting is the news that Treasury will deliver several different fee structures to customers in an effort to determine which structure is most popular. As this test is being performed by a government agency, we trust Treasury will ultimately make the results of these tests available to the industry.
Read full press release: http://feeds.businesswire.com/click.phdo?i=d0a199453095ea93edbd3975ef0119a9