NetSpend and Western Union to introduce co-branded prepaid card in US

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NetSpend, a TSYS Company, has joined forces with Western Union to develop an innovative co-branded prepaid card. The solution will be made available later this year.

“Combining the strengths of Western Union’s global brand and expertise in moving money with NetSpend’s deep prepaid knowledge and unique product capabilities, creates an incredible opportunity for us to better serve an underserved market,” said Dan Henry, chief executive officer of NetSpend. “Our two companies share a commitment to giving customers more and better choices for managing their money.”

According to the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI), approximately 68 million Americans are financially underserved or lack access to traditional forms of banking. Many of these consumers are turning to prepaid cards to spend, save and manage their money — the FDIC estimates that from 2009 to 2011, the percentage of unbanked households that used a prepaid card climbed from 12 percent to nearly 18 percent.

NetSpend and Western Union will jointly develop the co-branded card’s custom features through NetSpend’s proprietary, fully integrated payments platform, and plan to deliver the card through a portion of their combined distribution networks later this year. NetSpend maintains an extensive network of 70,000 distribution locations and 130,000 reload points. Western Union offers its services in the U.S. through a network that includes banks, national retail and grocery chains and independent locations.

Details on card pricing, features and availability will follow at the product launch.

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