DES MOINES, Iowa (10/13/11)--Coopera, in partnership with sister company and card processor The Members Group (TMG), introduced a reloadable Visa prepaid card designed for the Hispanic market.
The Coopera Card gives Hispanic cardholders access to a secure financial management tool and eliminates the need to pay high fees for check-cashing, money order or money transfer services. No credit history or taxpayer identification number is required to become a cardholder. Coopera cardholders can load funds via direct deposit of their wages, at an issuer’s branch, online or at any Visa ReadyLink merchant. The cards can be used anywhere Visa debit cards are accepted, and at any ATM branded with the Visa logo. Hispanic cardholders with family in Latin America can add secondary account holders to each Coopera Card account. This offers cardholders a safe and inexpensive way to make money accessible to family, said Coopera. The Coopera Card is supported by Spanish and English cardholder services via CooperaTarjeta.com and live agents, and bilingual and culturally relevant marketing materials and disclosures. The program also offers bilingual text message alerts. Young and largely underserved, the Hispanic community is a critical group for community-based financial institutions, according to Coopera. Yet, members of this group can be difficult to reach through traditional product and marketing strategies. “Many Hispanics avoid traditional financial services due to a lack of traditional identification documents, language barriers or a mistrust of financial institutions,” said Miriam De Dios, Coopera vice president. “Reloadable prepaid cards are among the most effective ways to introduce Hispanic community members to a community-based financial institution.” Amarillo (Texas) Community FCU is among the first to offer the Coopera Card to its Hispanic members. “We view the Coopera Card as a way to ease our Hispanic members into the financial mainstream,” said Arna Reynolds, Amarillo Community FCU CEO. “A reloadable card does not allow a cardholder to spend more than he has, yet he isn’t operating on a cash basis.” Coopera and TMG will host a free webinar for financial institutions about the Coopera Card on today at 1 p.m. (CT). Registration is open online. Coopera is an Iowa-based economic development firm focusing on emerging markets that present unique growth opportunities for credit unions. It is majority owned by the Iowa Credit Union League and is a strategic alliance partner of the Credit Union National Association.