MetaBank announced today that it has signed a multi-year agreement to be an issuer for Univisions Communications Inc.’s MasterCard Prepaid Card.
“We selected Meta because of its strong reputation in the prepaid business and because it has a solid infrastructure to support our future growth opportunities as we expand and meet the needs of the growing Hispanic community,” said Bob Harada, Univision Vice President/Head of Prepaid Card Services.
“The Univision MasterCard Prepaid Card offers consumers a culturally relevant, safe and cost-effective alternative to cash and low-balance checking accounts. The card reduces the inconvenience and costs related to cashing checks, prevents overdrafting and associated fees and enables consumers to better track and manage spending by providing them with the ability to monitor when and where they make purchases with their cards. The Univision MasterCard Prepaid Card can also be used anywhere Debit MasterCard is accepted, including online purchases and bill payment.”
Univision’s cards are currently issued by The Bancorp Bank. The announcement carefully states that Metabank will be “another issuer” of the prepaid card, which means that they are not taking over for Bancorp. Many program managers like to have multiple issuing banks in case one bank runs into any kind of trouble. Both MetaBank and Bancorp have had restrictions placed on their business by regulators in the past, though both remain leading prepaid issuers. So this move by Univision likely is a strategic risk management move rather than a sign that they are looking to change issuers.
Overview by Ben Jackson, Director, Prepaid Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group