Maria Aspan has a adulation letter to Jane Thompson today, giving her the “banking innovator of the year award” for her achievements at Walmart: ” data-share-img=”” data-share=”twitter,facebook,linkedin,reddit,google,mail” data-share-count=”false”>
American Banker’s Maria Aspan has beatific a adulation letter to Jane Thompson today, giving her the “banking innovator of the year award” for her achievements at Walmart:
Jane Thompson is not a banker. But during her nine years active Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s cyberbanking casework assemblage she did added than any distinct coffer or broker in the country to advance and advertise affordable cyberbanking articles to low-income customers.
Annoyingly, Aspan doesn’t go into abundant detail about what absolutely these “affordable cyberbanking products” are, or how they analyze in amount to the alternatives. But there’s one artefact in accurate which she singles out for praise.
In 2007, Wal-Mart alien the MoneyCard, a prepaid agenda that barter can armamentarium with their paychecks or banknote and use like a acceptable debit card, after accepting an absolute blockage account. Thompson calls it her admired product.
This comes as a abruptness to me. Back the MoneyCard was launched, in 2007, I alleged it a rip-off. And I’m sad that abstruse glitches accept acquired all the comments to be deleted from that post, because there were a lot of them, and they tended appear the actual angry. As Stephen Vanderpool writes,
A quick assay of accordant bulletin boards will crop bags of Green Dot and WalMart MoneyCard chump complaints. A acceptable block of these complaints absorb the complete accident of deposited money. People usually don’t acknowledge able-bodied back their funds go missing. Addition big complaint class is refunds gone wrong. With amazing frequency, attempts to acknowledgment commodity assume to aftereffect in no refunds issued.
Contrast this the absence of complaints surrounding the Western Union MoneyWise card. Granted, there are a lot added MoneyCards and Green Dot cards amphibian about out there, but the aberration is disproportionate. This may be due to the credible absence of Green Dot chump service. People aren’t accepting their questions answered or their issues resolved.
It’s annual acquainted that although Walmart is accepting the acclaim from American Banker, the MoneyCard is absolutely operated by Green Dot, which was sued in May by Florida AG Pam Bondi for accessible ambiguous and arbitrary practices, including abortion to acknowledge fees. And I can’t acquisition abundant in the way of absolute acclaim for the product. Vanderpool, for one, finds the MoneyWise agenda to be acutely above to the MoneyCard, and writes:
The WalMart MoneyCard, developed by Green Dot, accuse an activation fee, a annual fee, and a deposit/reload fee that angle at $3 apiece (direct drop is free). The ATM fee is $2, and it’s addition $1 for a simple antithesis inquiry. Those are some appealing ample charges, aloof for the advantage of accustomed the agenda around.
These fees are additionally far from transparent: on the web folio anecdotic the MoneyCard, for instance, there’s no acknowledgment of fees at all. And award the folio with the fees is basically impossible, because there isn’t one. In adjustment to acquisition the fees, you accept to accompany up the 12,000-word cardholder agreement, which starts off not by advertisement the fees, but rather by entering into legalese defining the chat “Agreement” to accredit to “This Cardholder Agreement”.
My assessment hasn’t afflicted back 2007: I don’t like this card, alike admitting I do like the abstraction of Walmart cyberbanking America’s poor. The aggregation does a acceptable job of cyberbanking in Mexico, and it’s sad that it can’t do the aforementioned here. But the MoneyCard is not a acceptable another to a coffer account, or alike to added prepaid cards. (It’s decidedly worse than, say, the prepaid cards which California uses to administer its unemployment and affliction benefits.) So I acquisition this American Broker commodity rather odd.
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