ICBA Bancard, the payment services arm of the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA), has partnered with Urban FT, a New York-based software company, to bring prepaid cards to community banks, the companies said in a press release.
The prepaid card market is growing — it’s currently valued at $896 billion but it’s expected to reach $3.65 trillion by 2022. Growth is driven by internet access, eCommerce and an increased desire for cashless alternatives. The proliferation of prepaid cards is an opportunity for community banks to provide cashless services to customers.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for community banks to expand their suite of card services to meet the diverse payment preferences of their cardholders with limited cost and risk exposure,” ICBA Bancard President and CEO Tina Giorgio said. “We’re excited to partner with Urban FT, a leader and trusted provider in this space, as we bring innovative solutions to market that offer greater choice and convenience without sacrificing the standard of service for which community banks are known.”
The partnership will support a slew of Mastercard consumer and commercial prepaid cards, and it will have incentives like fuel rewards, Wi-Fi access and mobile phone insurance. Community banks offering the cards will also be able to use Urban FT’s remote deposit capture and its banking app.
St. Paul, Minn.-based Sunrise Banks, a $1.1 billion-asset community bank, is going to be the correspondent bank for the program and it will handle the card servicing and support, along with compliance issues and requirements.
“We know that developing innovative programs supported by the best technologies drives interest in these payment offerings,” said Urban FT Chief Growth Officer Hunter Wolfe. “Urban FT anticipates a long and collaborative partnership with ICBA Bancard as we work to empower community banks with new payment solutions and digital experiences that allow them to retain their role as the go-to source for their customers’ payment needs.”