MILWAUKEE -- Metavante Corporation has come up with a way that unbanked individuals who may be paid on credit union-issued payroll cards can use the credit union's bill pay service with their payroll card.
"Integrating existing Metavante products, like prepaid cards and Internet bill pay, is the latest example of our corporate-wide focus on delivering products that work together, helping Metavante position its clients ahead of the pack," said Frank D'Angelo, an executive with Metavante Payment Solutions. "It's no secret that prepaid cards build bridges between the underserved banking population, their employers and financial institutions. Getting a big piece of this market opportunity will require a competitive differentiator, and that is offering corporate clients more than just a prepaid payroll card program."
Credit unions that have begun offering the service hold the notion that the unbanked cardholders that use the service may move steadily closer to becoming members. "What we have seen as far as cardholder behavior is concerned has been that unbanked cardholders who start being paid on cards will act the same as they did when they were paid by check at first," explained David Fortney, senior vice president for Metavante. "At first they will take their cards, go to an ATM, and clear the card--just the way they used to cash their paycheck and keep the cash. But gradually they come to keep more money on the card and to start using it like a MasterCard or Visa branded debit or credit card." Credit unions and banks that introduce the service are mostly aiming at drawing the unbanked away from the check cashers, according to the TowerGroup. TowerGroup research illustrates the limited financial tools available to the un- and underbanked prior to enhanced prepaid card solutions: The consumer who is paid with a check, and does not have a deposit account with a bank, pays a premium first to cash the payroll check itself and, subsequently, to purchase money orders to make payments. These consumers bear the full risk for keeping their assets in cash, the research firm said.