EXCLUSIVE: New CEO of Hip-Hop Mogul's RushCard Talks First to PYMNTS
UniRush, which produces the Prepaid Visa RushCard from hip-hop tycoon Russell Simmons, is moving to the beat of a different drum these days, or rather, CEO. Industry veteran Rob Rosenblatt came to PYMNTS.com first to share his plans to move RushCard to the top of the charts. In this exclusive NEXTcast interview with Market Platform Dynamics CEO Karen Webster, Rosenblatt explains what makes the card unique in the massive prepaid market and why he is excited about making the move from Chase to Rush (besides the chance to channel his inner hip-hop persona).
(Press Release: UniRush Names Rob Rosenblatt as its Chief Executive Officer)
Question 1: Give us the scoop on the RushCard: it’s a prepaid product, but there are zillions of them in the marketplace. What makes Rush so unique?
Rosenblatt: RushCard actually pioneered the prepaid debit card space. The company began in 2003 and really was created in order to meet the financial need of the more than 60 million Americans who are un-served or underserved by traditional banks. Listen below to full response:
Question 2: With the recent regulation and implementation of life post-Durbin, the RushCard market will only get larger. Is that fair to say?
Rosenblatt: Obviously, Durbin is upon us. There have been some moves made early on by some of the banks that do suggest that the price of doing business with your traditional corner bank is going to go up. Listen below to full response:
Question 3: You had a pretty awesome position at Chase. There’s a lot of passion and excitement in your voice about the opportunity at Rush. What specifically caused you to think seriously about the opportunity at RushCard?
Rosenblatt: I treasured every moment I spent with my colleagues and the management team at Chase. Those that know me know that I’m a marketer and I’m a developer of product at heart. I love difficult challenges, and although I certainly wasn't looking to leave, when this opportunity was presented to me, it was just too good to be true. Listen below to full response:
Question 4: Recognizing you’ve been in your role all of a week, but generally speaking, what kinds of things can we expect out of Rush over the next year or so? What kinds of things do you think you’ll be doing more of or less of?
Rosenblatt: The more we can do to make this a seamless experience, the more likely we are to create what Russell likes to call a partnership for life. Listen below to full response:
Question 5: How would you characterize the competitive set for RushCard?
Rosenblatt: The competitive set right now really starts and ends with cash. Clearly, the check and the checking account remain competitors. Certainly, many of these customers use Western Union and MoneyGram. We obviously have a couple of big competitors in the prepaid space. Listen below to full response:
Question 6: Russell Simmons is both a brand and a business person all rolled into one. How does what you are doing with RushCard fit into his overall corporate ambitions and vision?
Rosenblatt: That’s a great question. In the time I’ve spent with Russell, first of all, he’s incredibly impressive as much for his life story as for his savvy as a businessman and finally his commitment of making the lives of his fellow man better. Listen below to full response:
Executive Bio: Rob Rosenblatt was appointed Chief Executive Officer of UniRush LLC, marketers of The Prepaid Visa RushCard in September 2011. In his role, Rosenblatt works to accelerate development of innovative products for RushCard members, grow industry partnerships, and improve customer loyalty. (Read More)
About UniRush: Headquartered in Cincinnati and New York City, UniRush LLC provides members with access to services that enable them to achieve their personal and financial goals. The RushCard offers the more than 60 million Americans without access to a traditional banking relationship an array of basic financial services via the Prepaid Visa RushCard. (Read More)