Money Moving Slowly Into Occupy Money Cooperative
Supporters of the Occupy Money Financial Cooperative are backing up their slogans with cash, just not very much and not very quickly.
The financial effort launched by organizers of the original Occupy Wall Street protest seeks to raise funds to launch a prepaid card that, organizers say, will provide a range of financial services at a lower cost to lower-income and underserved consumers.
The organization seeks to raise almost $1 million for its initial budget.
But according to the organization's website, the cooperative has raised $3,554 of the needed funds just about two weeks into its fundraising effort. The organizers have not yet commented on the donations.
The budget organizers provided set the organization's initial start-up costs at $460,000 and starting costs to launch the card and provide start-up capital for that at $450,000. The startup costs for the organization included $330,000 for staff and about $35,000 for rent and utilities on office space, among other costs.
Organizers have maintained the pledge that the card will carry FDIC insurance, but still have not revealed which bank would issue the card for the group, nor have they shared any details of how the group chose the issuer.
However, while the organizers did not reveal the name of its card issuer, they did share the card's schedule of fees.
While a $5 donation to the group will get supporters a card, the cards themselves will be free, the organizers said, and will cost 99 cents per month unless the cardholder pays an unspecified amount and opts to become a “no monthly charge” member. Second or third cards will cost $1.99 each, according to the schedule.
Direct deposits to the card will be free, but if cardholders deposit cash onto the cards at one of several different retail locations, those locations will charge fees of between $3.74 and $4.95.
Depositing checks to cards instantly will cost cardholders 1% of business or payroll checks and 4% of personal checks, though the organization said cardholders could avoid this fee by agreeing to a seven day hold on funds deposited from checks.
Accessing money from the card at ATMs will cost $1.95 per use, but there will be no charge for cash back at the point of sale and no costs to use the card with a signature or PIN.
The card will also offer the option of accessing funds by check, but each of these options will carry a fee and the organization suggested finding out if a bill can be paid with the card alone, which remains free.