Big banks increasingly are developing application programming interfaces to make their customers’ data available to third parties. But discrete deals between banks and third parties would be a bad outcome for consumers and the industry as a whole.
Cards preloaded with unemployment insurance, child support, food stamps and other government benefits can be viewed as potential bank accounts, waiting to be opened by people with the fewest quality opportunities to connect to the financial mainstream.
I naively thought that Suze Orman's new prepaid offering, the Approved Card, would help turn the tide of negativity. Instead, it has had the opposite effect, creating a seemingly endless echo chamber about the evils of prepaid.
A few weeks ago, I wrote a column describing the financial preferences and behaviors of underserved consumers by painting a picture of an archetypal consumer named Sue. Taking stock of the true needs of the underserved helps explain why traditional bank products and practices often miss the mark.