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PerkStreet, a prepaid card distinguished by its rewards program, has run out of capital and will shut down near the end of next month.
What follows for customers depends in part upon when they originally signed up for a PerkStreet Card. Prior to March 2013, Provident Bank issued the cards. After March, Bancorp issued the cards. Provident cards will cease to function, but Bancorp cards will still work albeit without a rewards program. In both cases, consumers will not be able to redeem existing Perk balances.
PerkStreet stood out from most other cards by its powerful rewards program. Rewards have never been a part of mainstream prepaid. In fact, rewards are pretty much contained to credit cards for prime consumers and/or to those with the right spending and
Things change if regulators pause to think this one over: If any regulatory approvals remain outstanding after September 30th, 2013, then the transaction is put off until at least April 30th, 2014. In other words, if Block has to go through the work of preparing for next spring's tax season,
The Payments Center at the Philadelphia Fed, along with Rachel Schneider at CFSI published a great report on prepaid card usage back in August. The paper has more seventy pages of information about how people use the cards. If you are a payments nerd (as says the Vice President over prepaid at one large Southeastern bank), then
Rumors are circulating that NetSpend (NTSP) will soon be purchased by one of its competitors.
Shares of NetSpend fell below $5 last week. The Federal Reserve has placed an enforcement order upon NetSpend's largest share holder.
Perhaps because of the field's relative infancy, many people are still searching for a way to differentiate between "good" and "bad" prepaid cards. Few cards offer the same services and there is even some disagreement on which features are good and which are bad for consumers. Pricing is relatively opaque because so many costs are dependent upon how consumers use the card, and even then, the
market is yet to find a clearing point for even the most common functions such as loading or using an ATM.
Former Associate Justice Potter Stewart famously said that he could not find a clear definition for pornography. He said "I know it when I see it." The idea is apt, even if it is wrong to compare one with the other. Prepaid cards are not pornographic and they certainly are not