Leading provider of prepaid cards NetSpend, announced that it has joined forces with Western Union to develop a co-branded prepaid card, available later this year.
“Combining the strengths of Western Union’s global brand and expertise in moving money with NetSpend’s deep prepaid knowledge and unique product capabilities, creates an incredible opportunity for us to better serve an underserved market,” said Dan Henry, chief executive officer of NetSpend told The Wall Street Journal. “Our two companies share a commitment to giving customers more and better choices for managing their money.”
According to the Center for Financial Services Innovation, about 68 million Americans lack access to traditional forms of banking. Many of these consumers end up using prepaid cards to spend, save and manage their money.
The FDIC estimates that from 2009 to 2011, the percentage of unbanked households that used a prepaid card climbed from 12 percent to nearly 18 percent.
NetSpend has a network of 70,000 distribution locations and 130,000 reload points. While Western Union offers its services in the U.S. through a network which includes banks, national retail and grocery chains and independent locations.