PYMNTS Daily Data Dive: The Fallout Of The Walmart Prepaid Glitch

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The mystery of the Mastercard/Green Dot mayhem that glitched Walmart prepaid cards in May 2016 has been explained by the three companies involved. Back in May, some customers were unable to access the amounts loaded onto prepaid cards for several days, and some could not activate new and replacement cards or access account balances.

The three powerhouses, Mastercard, Green Dot and Walmart have provided accounts of the event to U.S. senators. According to Green Dot, an outage occurred during the migration of processing services. Michael Manchisi, president of Mastercard’s Payment Transaction Services, blamed the complex system and the large quantities of data being transferred. Green Dot has given credits to accountholders and allowed those fortunate enough to have ended up with a higher balance after the incident to retain any gain.

Here are the numbers:

4.8 million | The number of Green Dot’s card customers who were hit by the outage, approximately 1.2 percent of its active base

$3.3 million | The total amount that Green Dot has disbursed in $50 credits to those affected

58,000 | The number of customers using Walmart prepaid cards who were affected by the outage

41,000 | The number of accounts that had transactions declined because of low balances that were reporting errors

12,600 | The number of customers using Walmart branded cards who could not activate new or replacement cards


Featured PYMNTS Study: 

With eyes on lowering costs to improving cash flow, 85 percent of U.S. firms plan to make real-time payments integral to their operations within three years. However, some firms still feel technical barriers stand in the way. In the January 2020 Making Real-Time Payments A Reality Study, PYMNTS surveyed more than 500 financial executives to examine what it will take to channel RTP interest into real-world adoption. Here’s what we learned.

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