Mobile Commerce

BBVA Innovates Prepaid With Budgeting App

BBVA is jumping deeper into the prepaid card market with the launch of its ClearSpend card, which also comes with its own mobile budgeting app to help users keep track of finances.

The app is part of BBVA Compass ClearSpend's prepaid Visa debit card, and the technology of the app enables it to automatically learn spending habits of its user so it can suggest customized budgets and track spending. This card replaces its SafeSpend card as BBVA turns its focus toward the bank's big push toward empowering consumers to manage their finances anywhere, using any smart device.

"Our research shows a rapidly expanding market, with more clients turning to prepaid cards to manage their budgets, stay out of debt and avoid overdraft and check-cashing fees," said BBVA Compass Chief Digital Banking Officer Jeff Dennes. "The cards are more mainstream now and expectations have risen. Clients expect greater account management functionality, and we've responded with one of the most convenient and easy-to-use products in the industry."

The BBVA Compass ClearSpend app is designed to track expenses on a monthly basis in order to provide snapshots about what a user's budget should look like. The app personalizes budgets and sends out alerts. Its user, of course, can adjust in order to make the app more accurately reflect their lifestyle. The app's mobile alerts are provided in real time to remind the client when, where and if they are going off budget — which aims to help control spending.

"ClearSpend gives our clients clarity, providing invaluable insights into how they use their money," Dennes said. "It's great for anyone looking to track their discretionary funds, create a household budget or as a way to teach young people about spending money."

Prepaid cards have grown in popularity, particularly for millennials — and according to a study co-authored by an official at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, prepaid cards have expanded their popularity beyond just the underbanked to include populations that are looking to be better with budgets, as well as parents attempting to help teens budget. 

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