Welcome Technologies, which works to aid immigrants as they integrate into life in a new country, is partnering with Green Dot for the PODERCard, which will help U.S. Hispanic immigrants access digital banking services, according to a press release.
Less than half of U.S. Hispanic immigrants have access to actual banking services, the release states, citing an FDIC survey.
With the PODERCard, users will have access to a number of features, including a bilingual interface that can use both Spanish and English; a transparent enrollment process; a free Visa card that will allow access to over 19,000 ATM locations; no monthly fees, required minimums or hidden fine print; security that will protect users' information; and educational content on financial health.
Welcome Technologies is using Green Dot's Banking-as-a-Service technology to create and optimize the features.
The press release states that the PODERCard is designed to combat the common truth that banking products are designed for the wealthy. Costly minimum fees end up putting low-income earners in a financial bind.
A survey by Welcome Technologies of 10,000 immigrants found that only 44 percent used credit cards and 54 percent had savings accounts, the release states. Only 31 percent borrowed from banks when in need of a loan, which the press release states shows a mistrust in commercial financial institutions.
Welcome Technologies CEO Amir Hemmat said in the release that the PODERCard is "more than just a debit card or mobile bank account — it's one of the first of many steps our users will take to secure a more financially stable future for themselves and their families. We are challenging the status quo to ensure immigrant communities get fair and secure financial options.”
Aiding immigrants in accessing banking has been a goal for companies lately, such as Nova Credit's initiative to help immigrants access credit.