A prepaid card created specifically for Hispanics has been rolled out by Coopera and The Members Group in Des Moines, Iowa.
The pre-paid, reloadable Coopera Card provides secured access to financial services without having to pay for check cashing, money orders or money transfers. They also require neither credit history nor taxpayer identification numbers.
They can be loaded through direct deposit of wages, at an issuer’s branch, online or at any Visa ReadyLink merchant, said Coopera, a bicultural, bilingual economic development firm majority owned by the Iowa Credit Union League.
The card is being positioned as both a way to attract new Hispanic members and to generate interchange income.
“We view the Coopera Card as a way to ease our Hispanic members into the financial mainstream,” said Arna Reynolds, CEO of an early adopter of the card, the $173 million Amarillo Community FCU in Texas. “A reloadable card does not allow a cardholder to spend more than he has, yet he isn’t operating on a cash basis.”
Miriam De Dios, vice president of Coopera, said, “Many Hispanics avoid traditional financial services due to a lack of traditional identification documents, language barriers or a mistrust of financial institutions. Reloadable prepaid cards are among the most effective ways to introduce Hispanic community members to a community-based financial institution.”
Working with CUNA, Coopera late last year also created a customizable website aimed at helping credit unions connect with Hispanic Americans.