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  • A Great Alternative to Checking

    Posted by on January 22, 2013

    Guest post by Areli Estrada, Member Service Representative, Des Moines Metro Credit Union in Des Moines, Iowa

    Prepaid card products have become very popular with our Hispanic members who look to us for help with budgeting and money management. The Coopera Card, in particular, has been a good option for our credit union to offer because it is designed in the language of our Hispanic members’ choice — English or Spanish, and the card’s pricing structure is tailored to match the culture’s financial behaviors. What’s more, the Coopera Card is easy for our Hispanic members to open because it does not require credit history, a social security number or ITIN, or even a financial institution account to become a cardholder.

    In my role, I often talk to members who need the benefits of an ATM or debit card but only have a savings account with our credit union. Many times, these members do not want to open a checking account and are interested to know we can offer them a great alternative to checking accounts with the Coopera Card.

    I also often recommend the Coopera Card to parents opening accounts for minors because the children don’t have the option of overdraft — something parents are concerned about — but do have the responsibility of having and maintaining an active account. This card is a great option for teenagers to learn to manage and/or control their expenses before getting a debit card.

    The best thing I do when I’m counseling members on the decision to get a prepaid is to really listen to their needs and then show them how the Coopera Card matches those needs. The benefits of the card that I make sure to highlight are:

    Visa-branded — cardholders can use their Coopera Card anywhere at any time Visa is accepted, and make online payments and deposits.

    Stand-alone — the card is not linked to the cardholder’s credit union accounts so there is no possibility of overdrafts; cardholders can only spend the money that is available on the card at time of purchase.

    Budgeting — cardholders can track their spending to know what’s left on the card, and there is no risk of overspending, overdraft fees or interest fees.

    Security — cardholders never have to give out their credit union account numbers, and the cards are insured by Visa against loss or theft.

    Convenience — cardholders can call in and have their money deposited or transferred to their card without having to come into the credit union, saving time and money.

    Simply put, the Coopera Card makes money management easy for our budget-conscious members — they can make purchases without the worry of overspending or overdraft fees. Hispanic members, in particular, are acutely aware of the importance of money management, and we’re excited to offer them this truly helpful and unique tool for furthering their financial goals.

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