Eight credit unions have signed on to begin offering the Coopera Card in 2012.
A reloadable Visa prepaid card built specifically for the Hispanic community, the Coopera Card provides financial institutions with a tool for attracting new members and earning additional interchange income.
Coopera is a bicultural, bilingual economic development firm majority owned by the Iowa Credit Union League. The card is being offered in partnership with The Members Group.
The prepaid card gives Hispanic cardholders access to a secure financial management tool and eliminates the need for paying high fees for check cashing, money order or money transfer services, Coopera said. A credit history is not required and alternative forms of ID are accepted to obtain the card.
Credit unions that will offer the Coopera Card in 2012 include the $178 million Amarillo Community FCU, Amarillo, Texas; the $56 million United Services CU, Asheville, N.C.; the $120 million Beacon FCU, La Porte, Texas; the $11 million KEE FCU, Kearney, Neb.; the $1.3 billion EECU, Fort Worth, Texas; the $283 million Greater Iowa CU, Ames, Iowa; the $42 million Des Moines Metro CU, Des Moines, Iowa; and the $232 million Guardian CU, West Milwaukee, Wis., Coopera said.
Secondary account holders can be added to each Coopera Card account. The cards can be used anywhere Visa debit cards are accepted. Funds can be loaded onto the Coopera Card via direct deposit of wages, at an issuer’s branch, online or at any Visa ReadyLink merchant, Coopera said.
“Reloadable prepaid cards are an extremely effective way to introduce the local Hispanic population to community-based financial institutions,” said Miriam De Dios, vice president of Coopera. “We’re so pleased the Coopera Card is taking off so quickly because it signals that credit unions understand the need to adapt products to their new consumers instead of forcing them to adapt to the credit union. The Coopera Card will introduce financial institutions to a population thirsty for additional financial services and will provide a new source of fee income to grow through this market.”