Orman Pulls the Plug on Decoupled Debit Card
Noted consumer finance celebrity Suzy Orman has begun “quietly closing” the Approved Card, her prepaid decoupled debit card she marketed as a consumer tool to help rebuild financial health, according to the New York Times.
Bancorp Bank, Orman’s partner on the card, sent letters to card holders announcing the cards will expire July 1, the paper reported.
The Approved Card’s web site is silent on the change, but a CU Times email requesting comment was returned with an error message that said the address no longer exists. Additionally, Orman’s public relations team did not immediately respond to a CU Times request for comment.
Orman launched the card to great fanfare in January 2012, on the heels of her appearances in public service spots for the NCUA. The card immediately caused controversy for credit unions, because it was decoupled and charged card holders fees. Orman countered her fee structure was lower than other prepaid cards and the card offered benefits other cards did not, such as access to TransUnion credit reports.
The card charged a $3 month fee and $2 per ATM transaction outside the AllPoint network. Cardholders were also required to load at least $20 on the card each month to avoid fees.
Industry observers told New York Times the card’s low fees contributed to its failure.