Green Dot Corporation and AARP will soon be launching a new prepaid card geared to the needs of older Americans. Called the AARP Foundation Prepaid Master Card, it will be available online and in Walgreens stores in mid-February then subsequently expanded to other retail outlets over the coming year.
So what are the specific needs of this demographic group? For some, insufficient banking resources create a basic problem. Lack of these services means millions of people over the age of 50 miss out on the ability to accrue savings and retirement. This can also mean the inability to receive electronic deposits of paychecks, retirement fund payments, and federal benefit payments such as Social Security.
Older Americans often feel financially vulnerable. Our local news often relates stories of seniors being targeted by opportunistic service providers or being victimized as a result of Social Security check theft. The risk of a Social Security check lying around the house or in the mailbox has always been a problem. But starting in March of 2013, all Social Security recipients must receive payments electronically. Those who do not currently have the ability for direct deposit need to come up with a solution. This new Federal requirement is partly why this prepaid card was developed.
Jo Ann Jenkins, AARP Foundation President states “… we worked with Green Dot on its development of a prepaid debit card that offers older Americans a convenient and safe payment method at a low cost. Our combined efforts have resulted in a market-leading card by Green Dot that provides strong consumer protections, asset-building features, and innovative programs that can help move people to greater financial stability.”
This joint effort has produced a product that provides the security of traditional banking, including FDIC insurance. It provides a way to have government benefit payments transferred directly to the card. The card can also be linked to a savings account allowing for the transfer of funds from the card to the savings.
Cost to you — the card has an introductory offer of $0 and a monthly fee that can be waived each billing cycle when at least one requirement is met: $250 is direct deposited, at least $1,000 is loaded, or at least 30 qualifying purchases are made.
Overall, the needs of this group — age range 50 and older – will be very different. While those in their 50’s are still working, many are retired. But regardless of the need, this card has great benefits for all. Check out the many benefits at Greendot.com.
AARP Foundation is AARP’s affiliated charity. Royalties will be used by AARP Foundation to expand their charitable goals. The Foundation is dedicated to helping the underserved people 50 and older by meeting their essential needs of hunger, housing, income and issues of isolation.
Green Dot has grown rapidly by providing low cost banking and payment solutions including prepaid cards and cash transfer network offering the convenience of a traditional credit card account. Green Dot offers the Green Dot MasterCard and Green Dot Visa prepaid cards which are available to anyone. Best part — no credit, no problem. No worries about getting approved, after all you are funding the card yourself.